Saturday, February 4, 2023

Judge orders Bolivian opposition leader sent to prison

LA PAZ, Bolivia ( Associated Press) —

A Bolivian judge has ordered four months of preventive detention on terrorism charges for Santa Cruz Governor Luis Fernando Camacho, the main leader of the Bolivian opposition, whose arrest sparked riots that included the burning of six public offices and nearly thirty vehicles. Ordered.

After the hearing ended Friday morning, Judge Sergio Pacheco granted the prosecutor’s request to jail Camacho because of a potential flight risk while the trial proceeded, and rejected defense submissions that the opposition leader’s detention was declared illegal.

I will never give up in this fight for democracy in Bolivia. I tell the people of Bolivia that we will not allow dictatorship to be imposed on us like Venezuela and Cuba. ,

Hours earlier, the Civic Committee of Santa Cruz had called for a strike across the region this Friday, with blockades and vigils in public institutions until Camacho’s freedom is achieved, according to the leader of that powerful civic organization Romulo Calvo. The protests were felt since Friday morning itself and were expected to be massive.

On Thursday night, Camacho’s arrest sparked a wave of riots in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia’s economic engine and opposition bastion. Protesters burned several public offices, including the prosecutor’s office and the home of a minister of President Luis Arce. Police reported about twenty detainees.

The prosecutor’s office had requested six months of pre-trial detention at the Chonchocorro maximum security prison, located on the outskirts of La Paz and where the most dangerous prisoners are kept.

Camacho has been prosecuted on charges of alleged terrorism in connection with the 2019 crisis that led to the resignation of then-President Evo Morales after the election was deemed fraudulent.

He recently organized a 36-day strike in his area against the government of Morales’ political successor, Arce, to demand a population census, which would allow his area to increase seats in the legislature and be more exposed to political power in LA. Will gain weight. Paz. Headquarter of Govt.

The trial is spearheaded by the ruling Movement for Socialism (MAS), which is headed by Morales.

Morales is alleged to have been the victim of a right-wing coup after 2019 elections, in which he was seeking a fourth consecutive term, were denounced as fraudulent by an observer mission to the Organization of American States (OAS) Was.

In just 20 days of protests, 37 people died on the streets. The opposition alleges that it was a constitutional succession following the resignation of Morales due to a popular uprising against the fraud. Camacho led those street demonstrations.

For these events, former interim president Jeanine Áñez was sentenced to 10 years in prison and more than fifty opposition and military leaders remain in prison and on trial for alleged conspiracy and terrorism.

Camacho and other opposition leaders have accused the Arce government of using the law to persecute the opposition.

Nation World News Desk
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