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On November 25th, Interior Minister Arturo Murillo of the Bolivian coup government announced that “former” President Evo Morales was a “terrorist” and that he would send him to prison “for the rest of his life,” in an interview with the Guardian.
According to Murillo, who is part of Self-proclaimed Interim President Jeanine Anez’ government, Morales orchestrated efforts of his supporters to “strangle” Bolivian cities by organizing roadblocks and protests.
Murillo claimed that an audio recording allegedly proved how Morales was giving instructions and he, himself, was 200% certain it was the former president and that it was genuine.
“This is terrorism and this is sedition,” he said. “We have asked for the maximum sentence … of 30 years in prison.”
“Any terrorist should spend the rest of their life in prison – any terrorist – Evo Morales or whoever. It’s not about whether you’re an ex-president or white or black or a campesino … In fact, it’s even worse when it’s an ex-president. An ex-president should be sentenced twice over because people trust in their president.”
Speaking to the Guardian in Mexico City, where he has received asylum, Morales rejected the accusations as “harassment” designed to prevent his return to Bolivia.
He didn’t specifically decline that the recording was genuine.
“I talk to everyone who calls me. Sometimes I don’t know them. Sometimes they seek guidance,” he said.
Following the accusations there’s also been advertisements running on television, painting an image of Evo Morales as a “chaos-sowing provocateur who has brought turmoil to Bolivia’s streets.”
“Evo is summoning people to confrontations. Evo is not letting food reach the cities,” one advert claims. “The people want peace.”
Journalists were even given a tour of his alleged apartment, a luxurious premise in a recently completed building. It was aimed at proving how Evo Morales lived off the people’s back.
Murillo attacked Morales as part of a group of “fake lefties … who sought nothing but power.”
He further said that he wasn’t worried after “attacking” a Morales who still has wide support in the country.
“I don’t care how much it inflames things … in life you have to take risks and have the bravery to put things in order.”
“Evo Morales has lost his political career – he has lost it all – and he will never be candidate to anything else in this country,” Murillo insisted, claiming that Morales was so bad that “he even runs the risk of Mexico asking him to leave the country.”
Murillo furthermore rejected claims that the right-wing coup government had little interest for the country’s predominantly indigenous population.
Despite self-proclaimed Interim President Jeanine Anez having numerous racist tweets, and swearing herself in as president while clutching a Bible and saying that the “Bible finally returned to the presidential palace.”
In another radical move, the coup government cut all ties with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. There appears to be a significant purge of Morales supporters and pro-indigenous policies taking place in the Bolivian government.
At the same time, Jeanine Anez announced that elections would take place in 2020, and appointed Salvador Romero as first member of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) that will oversee upcoming general elections.
She said he had quite a bit of experience, as he has chaired the National Electoral Court from 2006 to 2008, and has worked with the United Nations and the Organization of American States. Meaning that the OAS has no worries that the elections will not undergo as planned this time round.
#Bolivia Deputies approve the law for general elections in 2020. After the Senate approved it this afternoon, it now goes to the Añez so she can sign it. Congress should elect and appoint new electoral authorities within 20 days. https://t.co/oNWpJpptlJ
— Jorge Derpic (@jderpic) November 24, 2019
It should be noted that there was a protest in front of The Guardian’s headquarters in London, due to the pro-coup government reporting of the outlet.
Protest at “The Guardian” newspaper in London for its bias on reporting about situation in #Bolivia #BoliviaMasacre #EvoElMundoEstaContigo #EvoEsElPresidente @dancohen3000 @medeabenjamin @anyaparampil @AhmedKaballo @BenjaminNorton pic.twitter.com/p4zHWs54p8
— Carolina Graterol (@Moncaro) November 24, 2019
Separately, several US congressmen and women questioned the OAS and the legitimacy of its claims that the October 20th elections in Bolivia were falsified.
“Before the votes were even tallied, the Organization of American States expressed ‘deep concern and surprise at the drastic and hard-to-explain change in the trend of the preliminary results’ in Bolivia’s October 20th presidential election. This refers to the increase in President Evo Morales’ lead in the race, after an interruption in reporting the preliminary results. It was repeated by the OAS and in hundreds of major media reports and became the basis for allegations of fraud. However, the data shows that this change was neither drastic nor hard to explain. We hope that the OAS will help clarify these issues by answering some basic questions put forth by members of the US Congress,” stated US representatives Jan Schakowsky along with Representatives Jared Huffman, Bobby Rush, and Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia in their letter to the OAS.
Protests are continuing in Bolivia, and being met with heavy repression from the police and military.
Survivors of the “massacre” at the Senkata hydrocarbon plant on November 21st presented bullet casings as evidence of the military’s brutality to the Interamerican Human Rights Commission.
A survivor of the military massacre at the Senkata gas plant in Bolivia presents bullet casings from the scene to the Interamerican Human Rights Commission
The coup govt insisted that "not a single shot" was fired by security forces & that the people of El Alto killed themselves pic.twitter.com/x1xlk0cQjh
— Wyatt Reed (@wyattreed13) November 24, 2019
Just days after Bolivia's self-proclaimed Pres. Añez went on TV to cry about the repression her security forces are unleashing, her coup govt appears to have given the okay to retake the municipal dump in Kara Kara at any cost, including shooting children in the face with pellets pic.twitter.com/lWcwz0rC9x
— Wyatt Reed (@wyattreed13) November 23, 2019
On the evening of November 25th people in Bolivia marched to demand justice for the Sacaba massacre on November 15th when at least 9 protesters were killed by military personnel and police.
Night march through the Bolivian city of Cochabamba against the coup and the massacre carried out be the military in Sacaba, Chapare. The cocalero community maintains roadblocks despite agreements in La Paz. @camilapress pic.twitter.com/R5zqv8l5Fg
— MintPress News (@MintPressNews) November 26, 2019
Indigenous people and movements of Cochabamba, Bolivia rally in the central 14 de Septiembre Plaza, demanding justice for victims of the Nov. 15 Sacaba massacre, a crime which was carried out by the coup government which replaced President Evo Morales. 📹@camilapress pic.twitter.com/hcnMcL1qFl
— MintPress News (@MintPressNews) November 26, 2019
On November 25th, UNICEF released its official report on Bolivia, saying that the situation was dire, 33 people had died so far and upwards of 800 were injured. The report presents the situation in an extremely biased light, presenting Jeanine Anez’ coup government as legitimate and disregards the heavy repression and violence the “interim” leadership is employing in an attempt to consolidate power.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Bolivian Coup Government Struggles To Consolidate Power With Repressions And Violence
- Evo Morales Says He Survived Assassination Attempt During Right-Wing Coup In Bolivia
- Violence And Repression Continue In Bolivia, As OAS Urges Coup Government to Hold Election