Evidence Stacks Up Against Jeanine Añez
President of Bolivia’s Senate, Andrónico Rodríguez, has presented a formal accusation against former Senator Jeanine Añez to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for seven crimes related to her central role in the 2019 coup.
The crimes were committed November 8-12, 2019 during the time she, as second Vice President of the Senate, seized the Presidency of the Senate and the self-proclaimed herself President of Bolivia.
Offenses identified in the formal complaint are sedition, conspiracy, attribution of the rights of the people, resolutions contrary to the Political Constitution of the State (CPE) and the laws; anticipation or prolongation of functions, criminal association and breach of duties.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday (April 27th), Rodriguez said that article 169 of the CPE establishes the legal procedures for a constitutional succession, and that at no point did Añez adhere to the procedure established by law.
Furthermore, Rodriguez indicated that the General Regulations of the Senate specify the functions of the members of the Senate executive board. In the absence of the President of the Senate and First Vice President of the Senate, the Second Vice President can temporarily replace the absent members with the sole purpose of forming a new board.
Rodriguez went on to say that under no circumstances and in no scenario could Añez legally taken the Presidency of the Senate, as regulations state that the Presidency of the Senate, First Vice Presidency, First Secretariat and Third Secretariat correspond to the majority political bloc, while the Second Vice Presidency and Second Secretariat to the minority bloc.
The accusations submitted to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for investigation are supported by 99 pages and other documentation.
“We ask the Public Prosecutor’s Office, in compliance with its attributions according to the Political Constitution of the State, to proceed to initiate and conclude the investigations that are in its hands according to the terms provided by the specialized laws in our country and making known to the Bolivian people for this origin of the irregular, illegal procedure that has been consolidated in November 2019,” said Rodriguez.
Presidential spokesperson Jorge Richter has also stated that a set of provisions were openly violated in order for the coup leader to assume the presidency of the Senate.
In addition to holding proceedings without quorum, Añez and other minority legislators relied on personal interpretations of articles 169 and 170 of the CPE in order to take power without the backing of the institution or law.
“The deployment of the Armed Forces and the Police are not events that can only be explained as a moment of instability, they were events that were generated in order to sustain a government that did not come from the ballot box, that did not come from legality and that was evidently a non-constitutional government,” he stated.
In addition to the crimes of corruption and the economic collapse overseen by the Añez regime, most Bolivians are demanding justice for the crimes of the U.S.-backed coup, particularly for the massacres, repression and political persecution of citizens and movements which opposed the coup.
The former coup dictator was arrested on March 13th, after being found attempting to escape justice. Bolivian courts have given Añez and two Ministers of the coup six months of pretrial detention in the Golpe De Estado case.