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Motion for a resolution - B9-0244/2021Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Bolivia and the arrest of former President Jeanine Añez and other officials

27.4.2021 - (2021/2646(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Željana Zovko, Leopoldo López Gil, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, David McAllister, Michael Gahler, Gabriel Mato, Sara Skyttedal, Miriam Lexmann, Loránt Vincze, Krzysztof Hetman, Róża Thun und Hohenstein, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, David Lega, Romana Tomc, Tomáš Zdechovský, Peter Pollák, Christian Sagartz, OJanina Ochojska, Ivan Štefanec, Frances Fitzgerald, CLefteris Christoforou, Inese Vaidere, Paulo Rangel, Vangelis Meimarakis, Stanislav Polčák, Loucas Fourlas, Jiří Pospíšil, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Luděk Niedermayer, Eva Maydell, Vladimír Bilčík, Michaela Šojdrová
on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0244/2021

Procedure : 2021/2646(RSP)
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Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on Bolivia and the arrest of former President Jeanine Añez and other officials


The European Parliament,

-having regard of the European Parliament´s resolution of 28 November 2019 on the situation in Bolivia (2019/2896(RSP)),


-having regard to the Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union of 23 October 2020 on the general elections in Bolivia, and the Statement by his Spokesperson on the latest developments in Bolivia of 14 March 2021,


-having regard to the press release by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of 16 March 2021 on the respect of Inter-American standards for due process and access to justice in Bolivia,


-having regard to the Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary General on Bolivia of 13th March 2021,


-having regard to the Statements from the Organisation of American States (OAS) General Secretariat of 15 and 17 March  2021 on the situation in Bolivia,


-having regard to the Political Constitution of Bolivia,


-having regards to the Constitutional Declaration 003 of 2001


-having regard to the American Convention on Human Rights (San José Pact)


-having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,


-having regard to Rules 144 of its Rules of Procedure,


  1. whereas despite the results of the 2016 referendum whereby the Bolivian people opposed the project of constitutional reform aimed at changing electoral laws, former President Evo Morales attempted to remain in power for the 4th consecutive term through the elections in 2019; whereas the electoral process was marred with irregularities, including the arbitrary and intentional freezing of the vote counting which caused mass demonstrations and (violent) protests, whereas former president Evo Morales resigned  as president and left the country for Mexico along with other members of the executive, legislative and electoral branches; whereas these irregularities were denounced by the Organisation of American States (OAS) in its Analysis of Bolivia´s Electoral Integrity report in November 2019 and the by European Union;


  1. whereas the Bolivian Constitution of 1967 and in its article 169 (I) states that in case of definitive absence of the president, the former should be replaced by the Vice-president and if not possible by the President of the Senate and in absence of the last one by the President of the House of Representatives; whereas Jeanine Áñez was the 2nd the President of the Senate at the time of Evo Morale´s resignation, she was therefore appointed by Congress as Interim-president of Bolivia duly following the constitutional and legal processes;


  1. whereas the Constitutional Plurinational Tribunal of Bolivia (TCP) endorsed the interim-presidency of Jeanine Áñez following the Constitutional Declaration 003 of 2001, which stressed that in relation of the presidential succession articles´ interpretation “the normal functioning of the executive organ in its integrity should not be affected or suspended”, therefore, the presidential successor should assume its presidential duties “ipso facto”;


  1. whereas Jeanine Ánez’ main purpose in the presidency was to call for new official elections, which were fair, inclusive and transparent and held despite Covid-19 challenges; whereas Luis Arce from MAS won the Presidency and was broadly recognized as such by Jeanine Áñez, assuring a transparent and peaceful transfer of power;


  1. whereas in recent months, the cancellation or dismissal of different trials against MAS supporters has been confirmed, while threats of judicial persecution of politicians opposed to the MAS government has increased; whereas a vaguely formulated decree approved in February 2021 by the Plurinational Assembly, where MAS has a majority, provides a blanket amnesty and pardon for people prosecuted during the Áñez administration for crimes related to the “political crisis” that started in October 2019;


  1. whereas on 13 March 2021 Jeanine Áñez and two of her ministers, former Energy Minister Rodrigo Guzman and former Justice Minister Alvaro Coimbra were detained on charges of “terrorism, sedition and conspiracy” and are accused by prosecutors of taking part in a coup in 2019; whereas their pre-trial detention has been extended to six months and former President Añez faces 24 years in prison if convicted; whereas an arrest warrant is pending for three other former ministers; whereas former president Jeanine Áñez was initially denied medical assistance while being detained;


  1. whereas prosecutors opened the case based on a complaint by a former MAS member of Congress and the government defended the arrests; whereas President Arce on the 22 March 2021 stated during a public act in El Alto city that he will “bring before justice the people responsible for the coup”;


  1. whereas there are 16 political prisoners, Jeanine Áñez (former Interim-president), Rodrigo Guzman (former Minister of Energy), Álvaro Coimbra (former Minister of Justice), María Eidy Roca (former Minister of Health), Aida Melean (former Director of the Financing Investigation Unit), Marcel Rivas (former Director of Migration), Yassir Molina (activist and leader of “Resistencia Juvenil Cochala”), Mario “Tonchi” Bascopé (activist and leader of “Resistencia Juvenil Cochala”), José Luis Valdéz, Admiral Flavio Gustavo Arce San Martín, General Pastor Mendieta, General Franco Suárez, General Alfredo Cuellar, General in retirement Luis Fernando Valverde Ferrufino and Major Freddy Vargas;


  1. whereas prosecutors presented their case against Jeanine Áñez charging her as interim-president but not as a civilian or in any other public role; whereas articles 159 (11), 160 (6), 161 (7) and 184 (4) of the Constitution and the Law 8 October 2010 underscored the special procedure for the judgment of the President, Vice-president and the high authorities of different tribunals; whereas the judicial procedure followed by the prosecution is not complying with Bolivian constitutional law;


  1. whereas continuing reports of lack of independence, widespread political interference and corruption in the Bolivian judicial system affects the credibility of the institution;


  1. whereas Article 3 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter defines the separation and independence of public powers as an essential element of representative democracy; whereas the article 8  of the San José Pact underscores the judicial guarantees and the due process; whereas several international organisations have expressed their concern about the abuse of judicial mechanisms in Bolivia thereby becoming repressive instruments of the ruling party;


  1. whereas the IACHR has stressed that certain Bolivian laws against terrorism violate the legality principle, because they include, among others, a comprehensive definition of terrorism that is inevitably too broad or vague; whereas States should respect the legality principle when defining crimes; whereas complaints filed before the Plurinational Constitutional Court (TCP) demanding that articles in the Penal Code on the crimes of sedition (art 123) and terrorism (art 133) be declared unconstitutional, for allegedly violating the American Convention on Human Rights and the Bolivian Constitution, are pending resolution by the TCP;


  1. whereas the EU is a longstanding partner of Bolivia and should continue to support its democratic institutions, the reinforcement of the rule of law, human rights and its economic and social development;


  1. Denounces and condemns the illegal detention of former interim-President Áñez, two of her Ministers, and other political prisoners, as a clear evidence of political persecution and reprisal and violations of their human rights; calls on the Bolivian authorities to release them immediately and drop the abusive charges; Urges the authorities to provide all the necessary medical assistance to ensure their well-being;


  1. Underlines that former President Áñez fully complied with Bolivia’s constitutional duty as President of the House of Representatives to succeed the presidential vacuum caused by the stepping down of former President Evo Morales following the violent riots that were brought about by attempted electoral fraud; Highlights that the Plurinational Tribunal of Bolivia endorsed the transition of power to Jeanine Áñez;


  1. Deplores as well the repeated allegations of a lack of independence of the judicial system and of the prevalence of structural problems in the country's judicial system; denounces President Arce’s political pressure on the judicial branch to persecute political opposition; Calls the Bolivian government to comply with the principle of the division of powers; underlines the importance of upholding due process guarantees without political pressure, with full respect for the independence of the powers and full transparency in all legal proceedings;


  1. Urges the Bolivian government to reform the judicial system, in particular its composition, in order to ensure guarantees of fair and credible trials, impartiality and due process; calls on the Bolivian government to address the widespread issue of corruption in the country;


  1. Recalls the indispensability of enhanced effective dialogue channels in the framework of Bolivian institutions to promote democratic values; reiterates the importance of the respect of rule of law;


  1. Believes that the EU and Bolivia should continue and enhance its engagement and dialogue in the context of GSP negotiations as Bolivia is the only country in Andean community of nations that does not have an agreement with EU; the EU continues to stand by Bolivia and is ready to engage further as long as clear steps are taken to improve the situation and that the respect for democracy, rule of law, and human rights are upheld;


  1. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government of Bolivia, the OAS, the IACHR, the Andean Parliament and the EUROLAT Assembly.



Last updated: 27 April 2021
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