Procedure : 2019/2896(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0188/2019

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 28/11/2019 - 8.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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<TitreSuite>to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on the situation in Bolivia</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Anna Cavazzini, Benoît Biteau, Ernest Urtasun, Diana Riba i Giner, Marie Toussaint</Depute>

<Commission>{Verts/ALE}on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group</Commission>



European Parliament resolution on the situation in Bolivia


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Bolivia,

 having regard to the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), Federica Mogherini, during the debate in plenary on 13 November 2019,

 having regard to the communication by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of 19 November 2019 on the risk of impunity and on the need for a national dialogue[1],

 having regard to the comments by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 16 November 2019 on how repression and the use of force risks worsening the Bolivia crisis[2],

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the political and social situation in Bolivia has become increasingly critical, having been fomented by popular discontent at the polarising tendencies of the Morales government and the environmental destruction caused by extractivist projects, and has reached alarming levels of violence since the presidential elections of 20 October 2019;

B. whereas doubts about the outcome of these elections which, in spite of initial criticisms about their legitimacy, the Organisation of American States (OAS) recognised by sending an electoral observation mission that was subsequently enlarged by an EU technical mission, ultimately led to a recount of the vote under the leadership of the OAS;

C. whereas on 10 November, President Evo Morales accepted the preliminary results of the OAS audit and announced fresh elections;

D. whereas a few hours later, the threat of a coup d’état materialised when the then commander-in-chief of the Bolivian armed forces, Williams Kaliman, who also served as Bolivia’s military attaché in Washington between 2013 and 2016, urged President Morales to step down, which he duly did in order to avoid further bloodshed and reduce tensions; whereas the following day Evo Morales was taken into exile in Mexico by a Mexican aeroplane;

E. whereas the open intervention by military and police forces has further destabilised the country; whereas the multiple acts of repression carried out by the military and police in public places are a stark reminder of the darkest periods of the decades-long civil-military dictatorships in Bolivia, and of the more than 200 military coups that have taken place since the country gained its independence in 1825 – the highest number for any one country in Latin America;

F. whereas violence, hatred, discrimination against indigenous persons and outspoken racism have been escalating in the streets and have led to at least 32 deaths; whereas the homes of Evo Morales, his sister and a number of government figures have been plundered and destroyed, the Wiphala flag of indigenous peoples burnt and authorities such as the MAS mayor Patricia Arce chased through the streets in the most denigrating and horrific way;

G. whereas there is a serious risk that the current political power vacuum will be used by antidemocratic and racist forces to roll back the empowerment of indigenous peoples and their integration into the pluriethnic and plurilingual state, thereby seriously rolling back the progress made to their rights as citizens;

H. whereas the most worrying manifestation of this attempt to reverse and quash the potential of a model that moves away from neo-colonial internal structures and international relations was the self-proclamation by the far-right second vice-president of the senate, Jeanine Áñez, as president, an act that has no legal basis in the Bolivian Constitution and has not yet been approved by the congress, but was enshrined by the constitutional court;

I. whereas on 14 November, Jeanine Áñez issued Decree 4078, which gives the armed forces the right to ‘support the police in the defence of society and the maintenance of public order’ without making them liable for prosecution for any crimes that are committed, thereby opening the door to impunity, just as was the case during the civil-military dictatorships;

J. whereas on 23 November, the Bolivian Congress approved a bill on holding fresh elections which, according to the Bolivian Constitution, should be held within 90 days;

K. whereas the self-proclaimed interim president Jeanine Áñez has announced her intention to sue Evo Morales for ‘sedition and terrorism’;

1. Deplores the tragedy that has befallen all victims of the current unrest in Bolivia, from any side, and expresses its most heartfelt condolences for their families and friends; calls on the Bolivian authorities to provide unconditional access to verifiable and up-to-date information on anyone who is missing or has been killed, injured or detained, and to investigate the causes of any such deaths, injuries or detentions;

2. Underlines the critical need to uphold the entirely lawful pluriethnic and plurilingual state; denounces the illegitimate means by which Jeanine Áñez declared herself president;

3. Strongly condemns all acts of racism and denigration, considers them severe human rights violations, and asks for their swift and full clarification with a view to the prosecution and punishment of all material and individuals responsible; underlines that freedom of the press is an essential element of stability;

4. Urges all actors to refrain from violence, to avoid further escalation, to use any viable means to de-escalate the explosive situation, and to work to re-establish the institutional stability of Bolivia on the basis of the existing constitution;

5. Is convinced that a sustainable solution must include the holding of fresh and fair elections, with all guarantees, as announced by Evo Morales before he was forced to step down by the commander-in-chief of the armed forces; takes note of the announcement on 23 November of such elections and underlines that the interim government should refrain from passing any new legislation until these have taken place;

6. Urges the military forces to return to their headquarters; calls on the judicial institutions to bring to court those members of the armed forces who acted outside the legal provisions of the Bolivian Constitution and international standards;

7. Demands a full and unconditional guarantee of the personal integrity of members, voters and sympathisers of the MAS government, which is not due to end its legal term until 21 January 2020;

8. Urges all actors in Bolivia to prevent any scenario that reprises the dark past of dictatorships, be that via symbols or acts, and to find a solution to the current crisis which fully respects the legality of the constitution; reiterates that the international community, including the EU, may offer its support through various means such as an election observation delegation if the people of Bolivia so wish, but can never be the lead actor;

9. Underlines that public discontent and demonstrations must not be exploited for the purposes of enacting a backlash against the constitutional guarantees and rights of the pluriethnic and plurilingual State of Bolivia, nor against the social progress of the last 14 years; emphasises that there are never any reasons, not even by reference to past political decisions, which can justify the use of disproportionate force, violence, repression, racism or escalation towards civil war;

10. Condemns the adoption of Decree 4078 and calls for its swift derogation or annulment in order to avoid impunity of the armed forces;

11. Equally condemns the announcement that Evo Morales will be sued for ‘sedition and terrorism’;

12. Calls for the EU and its Delegation to Bolivia to support a peaceful return to the previously lawful Bolivian State; asks for a clear statement against any attempt at a racist rollback, and for the EU to offer its support in overcoming the current crisis and state of impunity in Bolivia;

13. Calls for the EU to take proportionate diplomatic measures in the event that the current self-proclaimed government does not ensure that fresh, open and fair elections are held within the timeframe envisaged by the Bolivian Constitution;

14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the Government and authorities of Bolivia and the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.


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