On June 10th, a Bolivian court found former president of the country Jeanine Áñez guilty of violating the Constitution. She has been charged with orchestrating a governmental coup and illegally declaring herself president.
After Evo Morales resigned from his fourth term in office, following an election marred by claims of fraud, Áñez ascended to the presidency. She soon organized elections from which Morales’ party, headed by current President Luis Arce, emerged victorious.
Áñez completely denies the charges against her, as she reiterated during her closing remarks to the judge:
I didn’t lift a finger to become president, but I did what I had to do. I assumed the presidency out of obligation, according to what is established in the constitution.
The trial, which has resulted in a 10 year sentence for the ex-president, has been criticized for amounting to political persecution. Said Cesar Muñoz, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch:
We are concerned about how this case has been pursued. And we call on superior courts to examine how the proceedings were conducted.
Recently, Hermann Tertsch, vice-president of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) and VOX MEP, called for the European Parliament to address the issue:
It is extremely urgent that we talk about the brutal abuse and injustice this woman is being subjected to for fulfilling her duty and upholding the law … owing to a trial that Evo Morales himself, former president of the country, has recognized was rigged.
Indeed, Mr. Tertsch pointed out, Áñez rose to power with the support of the EU, as well as the Organization of American States. He has also criticized the socialists in parliament and Renew Europe for blocking a resolution in her defense.