Bolivia: Former President Jeanine Áñez Sentenced Over Alleged Coup

    Photo: AP [via Independent]

    The Facts

    • On Fri., Bolivia's former Pres. Jeanine Áñez was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a national court on charges of dereliction of duty and violations of the constitution.

    • Áñez, who wasn't allowed to attend the trial in person, has been detained since Mar. 2021 under accusations of terrorism, conspiracy and sedition.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    While Jeanine Áñez had never intended to become the national leader, she was brave enough to assume her responsibility for Bolivia when every other politician in the line of succession failed to do so. This MAS-led revenge trial can only bring shame to Bolivia as it violates the rule of law to attack an innocent woman.

    Narrative B

    This decision ensures that democracy and justice are respected in Bolivia, reinforcing the message that those trying to stage a coup will be punished. Evidence and witness testimony has proved that Áñez's self-proclamation was in accordance neither with the line of succession nor with the Senate's quorum standing rules, and that security officials were backing her seizure of power.

    Cynical narrative

    The political turmoil in Bolivia has challenged democratic institutions and both sides have politicized the legal system when given the opportunity. Recent developments represent a threat to democracy itself that hasn't been restrained to Bolivia as several countries in Latin America are facing the same problems.

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