- Morales, through his Twitter account, described the video as "fake."
- "Do not let food go to the cities," a voice says, urging the other to resist the "coup and racist dictatorship."
- Gerardo García, formally the second in command of Morales' party, was arrested by police on Thursday while driving an unregistered car to La Paz.
Bolivia’s prosecutor opened an investigation against former President Evo Morales on Friday for crimes of sedition and terrorism. In response to the announcement by the government of Jeanine Áñez, over the recording of a telephone call, in which Morales allegedly gives instructions for the blockage of roads and “not to let food pass” to the cities.
The former president, through his Twitter account, described the video as “fake,” and wondered why prosecutors are quick in trying to fix him. Yet, he claims, they haven’t investigated the deaths of over 30 Bolivians who recently lost their lives due to the fracas in the country.
The opening of the investigation against Morales is a response to Bolivia’s interim government filing a complaint. The audio, in which the former head of state is allegedly heard talking to peasant leader Faustino Yucra, was released on Wednesday by acting Interior Minister Arturo Murillo. “We are asking for the maximum penalty for sedition and terrorism,” Murillo said as he left the Attorney’s Office.
According to the government, the video was taken from the cell phone of the son of one of the leaders of the blockades that peasants made on various roads in the country, especially in Cochabamba, an
area of influence of coca growers. Yucra, whom Morales was allegedly talking to, is a fugitive, and authorities said he was previously wanted for drug trafficking.
In the recording, Yucra appears talking on a cell phone. The voice that comes out of the phone’s speaker is allegedly Evo Morales’, who asks him to organize obstacles to prevent food from reaching the city. “Do not let food go to the cities,” he says, and be strict to better combat the “coup and racist dictatorship,” in reference to the Government of interim President Jeanine Áñez. State Attorney General Juan Lanchipa said that “the content of this conversation is related to the violent events in the country in recent days.”
Bolivian interim president Jeanine Áñez warned a week ago that Morales had cases to answer in the court, and that if he returned to the country, he would have to be subjected to the rule of law. On various occasions, while talking to the international press, the interim president has reiterated her government’s goal is to organize for “fair and transparent elections.” It is not yet clear when exactly they will be held. The former senator took over the presidency without the majority support of Parliament, after Morales’ resignation.
Elsewhere, Vice President of the Movement for Socialism (MAS), Gerardo García, formally the second in command of Morales’ party, was arrested by police on Thursday while driving an unregistered car to La Paz. He was carrying computers and papers that are highly suspected to be related to the fraud allegedly committed by the MAS party in the October 20 elections. However, Garcia was expected to be charged with another crime, sedition, which typifies the behavior of those who resist, disobey and disrespect the government, and provides for a sentence of one to three years in prison.