Bolivian ex-president has yet to be tried six months after his arrest.
Ex-president Jeanine Anez is still awaiting a trial date six months after being imprisoned on coup accusations by a Bolivian government linked with her political foe Evo Morales.
According to her daughter, Carolina Ribera, the 54-year-old, who believes she is a victim of “political persecution,” attempted suicide in a La Paz jail last month while suffering from “extreme depression” as a result of her protracted pre-trial detention.
Anez’s custody was extended for another six months by a Bolivian court last month, until March 2022, meaning she might spend a year in prison without seeing the inside of a courtroom.
Last week, Ribera told AFP that Evo Morales was keeping her to send a message of dread to all opposition leaders and all Bolivians who disagreed with him.
After Morales and key allies in his Movement for Socialism (MAS) resigned following weeks of protests over his dubious re-election to an unlawful fourth term, the conservative Anez took control in November 2019.
Anez was the most senior parliamentarian left when Morales fled into exile after 14 years in office, and he was sworn in as interim president by congress despite the lack of a quorum and MAS MPs boycotting the session.
Morales and his supporters said they were victims of a right-wing takeover.
Bolivia had elections in October 2020 under Anez’s administration, in which Morales’ protege Luis Arce stormed to a landslide victory and she handed over the reins of power.
Anez was detained and charged with leading a coup, terrorism, sedition, conspiracy, and failure to perform official duties in March of this year.
More recently, the lawyer and former television host was accused with “genocide” over the murders of protestors following violence in November 2019 between Morales supporters and opponents, as well as protesters and security forces, which left 37 people dead.
The charge stems from two occurrences in which 22 people died in what the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called “massacres” just days after she was elected president.
The same report questioned the country’s legal system’s independence and warned against the “arbitrary use” of “ambiguous” offenses on the books, including some of the charges leveled against Anez.
Anez’s arrest has drawn considerable international attention, and her family has repeatedly requested that the government release her, or at the very least move her to a hospital for treatment of her hypertension and other health issues.
“Justice in Bolivia is entirely corrupted and subservient to the government,” he explained. Brief News from Washington Newsday.