Saturday, April 1, 2023

Bolivia: the opposition listens to its grounds and requests the amnesty law

LA PAZ, Bolivia ( Associated Press) – Civil movements and civic groups critical of President Luis Arce called on Wednesday for an amnesty law that stipulates the release of Santa Cruz Governor Luis Fernando Camacho within a period of no more than 30 days . , , and other opponents who are in jail.

If this does not happen, he assured that he would “actively promote a constitutional process to revoke his mandate.” He joined a signature-gathering campaign to hold a referendum on justice reform.

In nine of Bolivia’s capitals, a town hall was held on Wednesday, a kind of local gathering of bases to decide the course of actions of the opposition that has led protests in the country over the past two weeks.

The calls were highest in Santa Cruz, Bolivia’s economic engine and opposition bastion, where imprisoned opposition leaders are governors.

President of the civic committee of that area. Romulo Calvo, read the questions and thoughts that were later approved by the attendees.

In the determinations, a departmental guard was demanded to protect the population and a departmental ombudsman, in addition to releasing Camacho and 180 others they considered political prisoners.

Justice Minister Ivan Lima told Unitel television before the public meeting, “The government of the multinational state should not grant amnesties and that is exactly what is being requested in this council.”

In the morning, Bolivian lawyers and volunteers, with the support of the Catholic Church, begin a signature campaign to hold a referendum on justice reform,

“Enough! I Sign”, is the name of the campaign that seeks to collect 1.5 million signatures. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal provided books for collection of signatures, which will be done for 90 days as per law.

“The time has come for all Bolivians to be part of this crusade to reform this justice system,” said Juan del Granado, a lawyer and former mayor of La Paz. On its part, Monsignor Ricardo Santelas, vice president of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference, explained that the Catholic Church “is supporting the referendum in Bolivia and making the transformation of justice a reality.”

Senator Luis Adolfo Flores of the pro-government Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) described the campaign as “stories” and said pre-selection of candidates for judicial elections due at the end of the year would begin in the Legislative Assembly. At the end of March.

Justice reform is one of the demands of the opposition and civic groups critical of President Luis Arce, which emerged from councils convened after the arrest of Santa Cruz Governor Luis Fernando Camacho.

Camacho was sent to prison on 30 December for four months while he was being investigated for alleged terrorism.

The governor of Santa Cruz is accused of encouraging protests after the failed 2019 elections in which then-President Evo Morales was seeking a fourth consecutive term and described as fraudulent by the Organization of American States (OAS). it was done. This sparked a political and social crisis that left 37 dead and forced Morales to resign and flee the country.

Subsequently, then-opposition senator Jeanine Añez assumed the presidency on an interim basis. Anez was also jailed for alleged terrorism and was later tried and convicted in the first instance for illegally holding office.

In parallel, a delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) arrived in the country to verify progress on the recommendations of an interdisciplinary group of experts on the 2019 crisis. Experts blamed the governments of Morales and Áñez for this. Violence that led to massacres, torture, summary executions and serious human rights violations.

Nation World News Desk
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