protesters prevent the hospitalization of the ex-president on hunger strike

Demonstrators close to the government in Bolivia prevented, on Friday February 18, the hospitalization of ex-president Jeanine Añez, imprisoned since March 2021 and on hunger strike since February 9, and whose hospitalization was ordered by a judge.

Hundreds of supporters of the presidential party Movement to Socialism (MAS, left) surrounded the prison where the former head of state (2019-2020) is in La Paz, chanting “She’s not going out!” », « Murderer! »and “Thirty years in prison! »

The 54-year-old former president, who considers herself “political prisoner”should be “emergency treatment” in a hospital in the capital because of the “deterioration of his state of health”according to a court order.

“If we allow a pressure group to prevail over the decision of a judge, then really we are not in a state of law”said his lawyer Jorge Valda, at whom the protesters threw eggs.

Faced with this situation, the director of the prison informed the court of “material impossibility” to transfer Jeanine Añez, and the judge ordered the doctors to enter the prison to treat her “even against his will”.

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Accused of leading a “coup”

The detractors of Mme Añez clashed with police when they tried to dismantle a tent erected by supporters of the right-wing ex-president demanding her release. The forces of order finally gave in and the tent was burned. The supporters of the former leader then withdrew under the throwing eggs of the other demonstrators.

Jeanine Añez is accused of leading a ” Rebellion “ in November 2019 against the left-wing ex-president Evo Morales (2006-2019).

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On November 12, 2019, the conservative senator proclaimed herself interim president of Bolivia in favor of a power vacuum caused by the cascading resignations of Mr. Morales and his constitutional successors: the vice-president, the president of the Senate and the President of the Chamber of Deputies.

A month earlier, Evo Morales had faced a wave of protest after his contested re-election for a fourth term. Dropped by the army and the police, he ended up resigning and going into exile.

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After a year of acting, Añez had recognized the victory of Luis Arce, candidate of the MAS and dolphin of Evo Morales, in the presidential election of October 2020 and had handed over power to him.

The World with AFP