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Procedure : 2021/2646(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0248/2021

Texts tabled :

B9-0248/2021

Debates :

PV 29/04/2021 - 9.2
CRE 29/04/2021 - 9.2

Votes :

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2021)0156

<Date>{27/04/2021}27.4.2021</Date>
<NoDocSe>B9‑0248/2021</NoDocSe>
PDF 160kWORD 47k

<TitreType>MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

<TitreSuite>with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>


<Titre>on Bolivia and the arrest of former President Jeanine Añez and other officials </Titre>

<DocRef>(2021/2646(RSP))</DocRef>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>José Ramón Bauzá Díaz, Petras Auštrevičius, Malik Azmani, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Klemen Grošelj, Karin Karlsbro, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Karen Melchior, Javier Nart, Urmas Paet, Dragoș Pîslaru, Frédérique Ries, Michal Šimečka, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu, Dragoş Tudorache, Hilde Vautmans</Depute>

<Commission>{Renew}on behalf of the Renew Group</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0244/2021
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

B9‑0248/2021

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

(2021/2646(RSP))

The European Parliament,

  having regard to the is previous resolutions and in particular the one of 28 November 2019 on the situation in Bolivia,

  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 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 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 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

  having regard to Rules 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

  1. whereas in November 2019 following weeks of violent protests in Bolivia, President Evo Morales stepped down and left the country; whereas several resignations led to a power vacuum and the 2nd Vice - President of the Senate Ms Jeanine Añez assumed the interim presidency in a constitutional manner, to quickly call for a new presidential elections; whereas this was the only democratic and constitutional way to resolve the crisis and to avoid violence;
  2. whereas following the constitutional mandate the interim authorities took the necessary steps to organize new democratic, inclusive, transparent and fair elections, that took place in October 2020; whereas Luis Arce, the MAS presidential candidate, won the elections by a wide margin and was recognised immediately by President Añez as well as by the international community, including the European Union;
  3. whereas despite the COVID-related challenges the Bolivians committed to electoral democracy by turning out in high numbers and peacefully exercising their democratic rights;
  4. whereas on 13 March 2021 Jeanine Áñez and two of her minister, 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;
  5. whereas the charging document against President Áñez and two former ministers alleges that they “promoted, directed, were members and supported” organizations whose objective was to break Bolivia’s “constitutional order”; whereas the evidence against President Áñez seems unclear in the document;
  6. whereas the individuals who are being subjected to these criminal law proceedings allege that they are being persecuted and, in the cases of the individuals who have been arrested so far, that they were not duly notified of proceeding while the Attorney General's Office stressed that arrest warrants were issued in keeping with the law, without violating the rights of detainees; whereas the Ombudsperson's Office decided to monitor the actions of Bolivia's Police and Public Prosecutor's Office, to ensure that due process and the arrested individuals' right to a defense were being respected;
  7. 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 and terrorism be declared unconstitutional, for allegedly violating the American Convention on Human Rights and the Bolivian Constitution, are pending resolution by the TCP;
  8. whereas prosecutors opened the case based on a complaint by a former MAS member of Congress and the government defended the arrests; whereas the current Justice Minister has said that the case against President Áñez refers to her conduct when she was a senator, prior to becoming interim president;
  9. whereas in recent months, the cancellation or dismissal of different trials against MAS supporters has been confirmed, as well as threats of judicial persecution of politicians opposed to the government; 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;
  10. whereas the Inter-American Democratic Charter in Article 3 defines the separation and independence of public powers as an essential element of representative democracy; whereas several international organisations have expressed their concern about the abuse of judicial mechanisms in Bolivia becoming even repressive instruments of the ruling part;  
  11. whereas continuing reports of lack of independence, widespread political interference and corruption in the Bolivian judicial system affects the credibility of the ongoing processes and the separation of powers;
  12. whereas the newly elected President Arce promised that during his government there would be no political pressure on prosecutors and judges; whereas he has created a commission of experts to draft reform proposals for an independent justice system, however the developments remain unclear;
  13. whereas the EU is a long standing 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 the pre-trial detention of former President Añez and two of her Ministers; calls on the Bolivian government to release them, drop the abusive charges and urge the authorities to put in place impartial processes and mechanisms to initiate an independent and transparent inquiry into the allegations and determine the responsibilities.
  2. Expresses its concern on the recent legal actions taken against former government officials and authorities in Bolivia, as well as 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; 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.
  3. 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;
  4. Stresses that the accusations linked to the events of 2019 must be dealt with within the framework of a transparent judicial process and without political pressure, with full respect for the independence of the powers and rule of law; stresses that the victims deserve real, impartial justice and that all those responsible be held accountable, without any amnesties or pardons based on their political opinion.
  5. Calls on the Bolivian Public Prosecution to reopen the investigation into the alleged channelling by the Morales government of 1,6 million dollars of public funds through irregular payments to Neurona consulting firm.
  6. Reiterates that political differences need to be resolved through dialogue and reconciliation in order to preserve political stability and ensure full  respect for human rights;  in this respect calls on Bolivian authorities to lead a national dialogue and reconciliation process, with the aim of defusing the tension and hostilities that are latent within Bolivian society.
  7. Recalls that respect for the independence of the judiciary, political pluralism, and freedom of assembly and expression for all Bolivians, including the peasant indigenous nations and peoples, are fundamental rights and essential pillars of democracy and the rule of law; Calls on the Bolivian Government and Plurinational Assembly to appoint a truly independent and impartial Ombudsperson;
  8. Continues to stand by Bolivia and looks forward to working with the newly elected authorities towards the consolidation of prosperity and stability of the country, in a spirit of reconciliation, unity and inclusiveness.
  9. 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.

 

 

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