Bolivia Issues Arrest Warrant for Ex-President Morales

  • The arrest warrant was announced by Bolivia's interior minister, Arturo Murillo, who has filed charges against Morales before.
  • Morales, on the other hand, maintained that his resignation was forced by coup and "fascist" movements.
  • The crisis began after Morales attempted to "forcefully" win a fourth consecutive term in office in the early-November elections.

Bolivia’s interim government has issued an arrest warrant against the nation’s former President, Evo Morales. The former head of state is accused by the country’s current regime of alleged sedition as well as terrorism-related accusations. The interim government of Bolivia also alleges that Morales has been fueling unrest in the country since he resigned and left for exile. Morales is currently a refugee in Argentina after his November resignation.

Evo Morales is a Bolivian politician and former cocalero activist who served as the 80th President of Bolivia from 2006 to 2019. On November 10, 2019, he resigned amidst significant unrest in the wake of a report by the Organization of American States alleging his government had rigged the year’s elections.

The arrest warrant was announced by Bolivia’s interior minister, Arturo Murillo. Murillo filed another complaint against Morales in November, accusing him of “sedition and terrorism,” following allegations that the ex-president incited his supporters to maintain blockades in the crisis-hit country. At the time, Murillo presented pre-recorded phone calls in which Morales was allegedly instructing his supporters to block the country’s roads, to prevent the distribution of food and fuel.

In the weeks following the resignation of Evo Morales, and the assumption of the country’s leadership by opposition senator Jeanine Áñez, protests spread in the country, and about 30 people lost their lives. Añez had, by decree, granted immunity to security forces who abused protesters in order to “pacify the country.” Morales, on the other hand, maintained that his resignation was forced by coup and “fascist” movements, and what was being implemented in Bolivia was a “dictatorship.”

The crisis began after Morales attempted to “forcefully” win a fourth consecutive term in office in the early-November elections. After a lengthy, suspicious, and controversial tabulation, the opposition and the government came to an agreement and requested that the Organization of American States (OAS) audit the vote count and suggest the next steps.

Jeanine Áñez is a Bolivian politician and lawyer who has served as a senator for Beni since 2010. In November 2019, following the resignation of Evo Morales, Áñez declared herself interim president.

Prior to the OAS audit, Bolivia’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) gave Morales a victory in the first round of the controversial elections whose credibility was questionable. Once the report was ready, the organization recommended to the former president that a second round of voting should be held, owing to the many irregularities that were evident in the results of the vote. Morales, on the other hand, chose to annul the elections and call for a new poll.

The country’s army, however, implored Morales to resign as the only way of restoring peace in the country. Morales later fled to Mexico before recently moving to Argentina, where he is currently a refugee. Morales was granted refuge status in Mexico by the nation’s head of state, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Soon after he left Mexico, Morales first headed to Cuba for medical examinations, before he settled in Argentina. The country’s new Peronist President, Alberto Fernández, granted Morales refugee status as well.

In reaction to the news, Morales tweeted, “The coup supporter Anez . . . ordered and announced the order of capture against me for terrorism and sedition. When those who committed sedition, terrorism and genocide were her [and other interim leaders],” he said. Morales now lives in a city bordering Bolivia and hopes from there to lead the electoral campaign of his party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS), for the upcoming elections scheduled for the first half of 2020.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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