The newly elected socialist government in Bolivia cleared all charges and investigations against former President Evo Morales on Monday, including electoral fraud, terrorism, and pedophilia.
Lawmakers announced they will also proceed to begin a legal process against conservative President Jeanine Áñéz, who oversaw the electoral process, for alleged genocide and violation of the constitution.
On Monday, the socialist government under President Luis Arce announced that the legal system would drop charges against Morales, who remains in exile in Argentina. These charges included a variety of crimes against humanity, including planning acts of terrorism and attempting to starve parts of the country’s population. The Áñez government had also opened an investigation against Morales for allegedly engaging in acts of pedophilia after authorities found a birth certificate for a child born to a minor that identified Morales as the father.
The Bolivian legal system will also reportedly drop charges against other members of Morales’s Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, including former Solicitor General Héctor Arce (no relation).
The new leftist regime has confirmed that it will pursue charges of constitutional violations against Áñéz, who filled the power vacuum last year following Morales’ resignation amid reports of irregularities and voter fraud in the 2019 presidential election. Áñez, a conservative senator, became president after everyone above her on the chain of command fled the country with Morales.
The accusations against Áñez are related to the use of force against violent leftists in the districts of Sacaba (Cochacabama) and Senkata (La Paz) following Áñez’s inauguration last year, as well as the imposition of Supreme Decree 4078, which temporarily exempted military and police officials from prosecution.
“There are two trials of responsibilities, one for the signing of Supreme Decree 4078, with the classification of resolutions contrary to the Constitution and breach of office,” Victor Borda, the president of the socialist-controlled Mixed Constitutional Commission of the Legislative Assembly, told Página Siete. “The other is for the massacres of Senkata and Sacaba, for crimes of genocide and murder, among others.”
Responding to the charges, Áñéz accused the MAS of persecuting its political opponents.
“The MAS recovers its habit of prosecuting those who think differently. That is why we must remind them that democracy is not only the rule of the majority,” she wrote on Twitter. “Furthermore, it is the government that must adjust to the law and it is the government that must respect freedom.”
El MAS recupera su costumbre de enjuiciar a los que piensan distinto. Por eso hay que recordarle que la democracia no sólo es el gobierno de la mayoría. Además, es el gobierno ajustado a ley y es el gobierno que respeta la libertad.
— Jeanine Añez Chavez (@JeanineAnez) October 26, 2020
— Porlavisión (@porlavisioncom) October 27, 2020