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Archive photo. Former President of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez | Photo: Reproduction / Twitter
Former Bolivian interim president Jeanine Áñez will spend at least a year in prison after a judge extended his pre-trial detention for another six months on Tuesday, just over a week after the former head of government spent five months in a prison in La Paz.
An anti-corruption judge in the capital ordered the preventive detention measure for an additional 180 days as part of the investigations against Áñez during the political crisis experienced by the neighboring country in 2019, which led to the resignation of Evo Morales, and which is seen by Evo’s supporters as a “coup”.
Luis Guillén, one of the former president’s lawyers, accused that the extension of pre-trial detention responds to the decision of a criminal investigating judge who “decided to separate the case and return” the case before an anti-corruption judge. He complained that the new measure was taken after the defense had filed an appeal to which he had not yet responded. The lawyer warned that the jurisdiction of the anti-corruption judge in the case will certainly be subject to constitutional review and protection.
Through her Twitter account, managed by members of her family, the former interim president denounced that there was a division in the process of extending her detention.
“They impose in preventive hearing 6 more months of unjust deprivation of liberty, violating human rights and guarantees. Without justice in Bolivia, there is no democracy”, wrote the members of the family on the social network.
The defense of Áñez unsuccessfully presented several calls for freedom of action in order to be able to defend oneself in complete freedom. In mid-July, a hearing was requested with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to explain the prison situation and take stock of the detainee’s state of health.
The former president was arrested on March 13 at her home in the department of Beni and is being prosecuted for sedition and terrorism. There are also other cases brought against her for the so-called Sacaba and Senkata massacres in 2019, for which she is accused of genocide. During these events, which took place amid the political crisis in Bolivia, around 20 civilians participating in protests were killed by bullets from police and military forces.