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Bolivian Coup Government Orders “Law Enforcement Operation” Against Morales Supporters

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Bolivian Coup Government Orders "Law Enforcement Operation" Against Morales Supporters

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On December 16th, the Bolivian Coup government’s Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Daniel Humérez announced that the police and armed forces would carry out an operation in Chapare.

Chapare is known as the “home base” of former President Evo Morales, and since he resigned on November 10th has seen no police presence at all.

According to him, it wasn’t a military operation, but rather a law enforcement one.

“The corresponding actions are already being carried out, namely the entering by the Armed Forces to the Tropic of Cochabamba in order to establish a rule of law in this area,” said the deputy minister.

Similarly to other officials from Self-proclaimed Interim President Jeanine Anez’ government, he stressed that the absence of uniformed persons cannot be allowed in any region of the country, because “there can be no territory where there is no State presence.”

Furthermore, Minister of Internal Affairs Arturo Murillo, warned that if the situation remained, the realization of the upcoming 2020 presidential elections was at risk.

After Evo Morales resigned, about 90 soldiers and police officers retreated before the escalation of violent protests in Chapare. The sectors faithful to Morales and his party, the Movement to Socialism (MAS) raised roadblocks that were later lifted after a sort of “ceasefire agreement.”

Essentially, the coup government is attempting to “establish the rule of law” to turn Bolivia into a police state in order to suppress any Morales supporters and consolidate power.

The operation was prompted after alleged audio recordings presented by the Interior Ministry suggested that Morales held talks with coca farmers from Chapare following his resignation to coordinate attacks and civil disobedience across cities in Bolivia.

On December 12th, Evo Morales arrived to Argentina, where he was given political asylum.

“He comes to stay in Argentina, because he is seeking asylum and then he will have refugee status,” Foreign Minister Felipe Solá said.

According to Solá, Morales would face a “justified fear for his life” if he stayed in Bolivia, where the administration of interim President Jeanine Áñez has accused him of sedition and terrorism.

Solá added Morales’ stay comes with conditions, telling La Nación that the “regulations require a series of guidelines, such as a place of residence, etc..”

“We want from Evo the commitment not to make political declarations in Argentina. It is a condition that we ask,” he added.

Morales expressed his gratitude to Argentina and Mexico via his Twitter account. “A month ago I arrived in Mexico […] sad and broken. Now I have arrived in Argentina, to continue fighting for the humblest and to unite the Great Homeland, I am strong and lively. I thank Mexico and Argentina for all its support and solidarity,” he wrote.

Since then, however, he has used Twitter to make numerous political statements, such as claim that the coup government is leading Bolivia towards bankruptcy.

The former President tweeted that the main issue of the economic recession led to “civic unemployment”, along with the “the coup action of the OAS (Organization of American States)” and the assault on public institutions and companies.

In Bolivia, however, a warrant on the arrest of Evo Morales is to pass in the next several days, Self-Proclaimed Interim President Jeanine Anez said.

“He can return whenever he wants. He left because he wanted to,” she said.  “He knows that he has to give answers to the country and will have to face justice. In the next few days, that arrest warrant will be issued, because we have already brought the various charges.”

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