Bolivia arrests former interim president Jeanine Anez, on terrorism charges

Bolivia’s former interim president Jeanine Anez and several former ministers have been arrested in relation to the 2019 political crisis in which she replaced predecessor Evo Morales, a Government minister said on Sunday.

Jeanine Áñez, who Morales supporters say was part of a coup, was detained early on Saturday morning in her home town of Trinidad and was flown to the capital, La Paz, where she appeared before a prosecutor.

Mr. Morales was said to have resigned and fled Bolivia after protests and allegations of electoral fraud in 2019. He also lost the backing of the military over his controversial re-election to a fourth term in office.

“This is an abuse, there was no coup d’etat, but a constitutional succession,” she said.

Añez’s government was heavily criticised by rights groups while she was in power for seeking the arrest of Morales on accusations of terrorism after he fled the country. The charges were dropped shortly after MAS returned to power last year.

Morales and MAS never accepted that the election was fraudulent and described the events of November 2019 as a “coup d’état” promoted by reactionaries and the military with the support of Washington.

In a tweet shortly before her arrest, Añez said: “The MAS has decided to return to the methods of dictatorship. A pity, because Bolivia doesn’t need dictators, it needs freedom.”

The country, long troubled by political instability, is sharply divided between MAS supporters, concentrated in poorer rural and mountainous areas, and the opposition, whose supporters hail mainly from the cities and the wealthier lowlands.

The country, long troubled by political instability, is sharply divided between MAS supporters, concentrated in poorer rural and mountainous areas, and the opposition, whose supporters hail mainly from the cities and the wealthier lowlands.

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