Procedure : 2021/2646(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : RC-B9-0245/2021

Texts tabled :

RC-B9-0245/2021

Debates :

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

Votes :

PV 29/04/2021 - 19

Texts adopted :


<Date>{28/04/2021}28.4.2021</Date>
<RepeatBlock-NoDocSe> <NoDocSe>B9‑0245/2021</NoDocSe> }
 <NoDocSe>B9‑0246/2021</NoDocSe> }
 <NoDocSe>B9‑0247/2021</NoDocSe></RepeatBlock-NoDocSe> } RC1
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<TitreType>JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>


<Replacing>replacing the following motions:</Replacing>

<TablingGroups>B9‑0245/2021 (The Left)

B9‑0246/2021 (Verts/ALE)

B9‑0247/2021 (S&D)</TablingGroups>


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

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


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Marek Belka, Isabel Santos, Javi López</Depute>

<Commission>{S&D}on behalf of the S&D Group</Commission>

<Depute>Jordi Solé, Hannah Neumann</Depute>

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

<Depute>Marisa Matias, Manu Pineda</Depute>

<Commission>{The Left}on behalf of The Left Group</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>


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 its previous resolutions on Bolivia,

 having regard to the statement by the European External Action Service (EEAS) Spokesperson of 14 March 2021 on the latest developments in Bolivia,

 having regard to the statements by the VP/HR Spokesperson of 10 August 2020 on the electoral preparations in Bolivia, of 23 October 2020 on the general elections in Bolivia,

 having regard to the statement of 13 March 2021 by the UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson on Bolivia,

 having regard to the report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 24 August 2020 entitled ‘The Human Rights Situation in the Aftermath of the 20 October 2019 General Elections in Bolivia’,

 having regard to the statement by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of 16 March 2021 on ‘IACHR Urges Bolivia to Respect Inter-American Standards for Due Process and Access to Justice and Stresses the Country’s Obligation to Investigate and Punish Anyone Responsible for Human Rights Violations Committed in the Context of the 2019 Electoral and Institutional Crisis, and to Ensure Comprehensive Reparations for Victims and their Families’,

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

 having regard to the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and on Freedom of Expression,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights and the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which Bolivia is a Party,

 having regard to the Bolivia Plurinational State’s Constitution of 2009,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

 having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 2131 (xx) entitled ‘Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of their Independence and Sovereignty’,

 having regard to Article 2 (4) of the Charter of the United Nations,

 having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 (xv) entitled ‘Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples’,

 having regard to the report of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) on the 2019 Bolivia Election explaining that the fraud allegations were not only far-fetched but apparently fabricated,

 having regard to the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean signed in Escazú on 4 March 2018,

 having regard to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the political and social situation in Bolivia remains critical, with high polarisation in the political debate the ongoing environmental destruction caused by extractivist projects, the persistence of huge socioeconomic disparities and, more recently, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas after the elections of 20 October 2019, Bolivia experimented abrupt transition of power without legal coverage and an active role of the army and police forces, which saw many supporters of President Evo Morales, indigenous population and human rights defenders violently killed by the military and members of Morales’ Movement for Socialism (MAS) party persecuted by the opposition including by acts of violence such as beatings and harassment, with high-profile politicians’ homes being torched;

B. whereas, following weeks of violent protests, 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 forced to leave Bolivia and was granted asylum in Mexico; whereas this was followed by the self-proclamation by the second vice-president of the Senate, Jeanine Áñez, as president with the support of the military and without constitutionally required quorum; whereas Jeanine Áñez remained the caretaker president, until elections took place in October 2020 and President Arce took office;

C. whereas at least 35 people died and 833 were injured in the context of the protests that began in October 2019 and many others were detained in breach of the rules of due process, amid reports of widespread human rights violations and abuses; whereas these human rights violations have not been adequately investigated, prosecuted or punished, allowing impunity for them to persist; whereas, under the auspices of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts for Bolivia (GIEI) began its investigations in Bolivia at the end of November 2020, rekindling the hope of justice, truth and reparation for the victims of human rights violations;

D. whereas on 15 November 2019, Bolivia’s interim government issued Decree 4078, which gave 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; whereas in the cities of Sacaba on 15 November and Senkata on 19 November, the armed forces fired at reportedly unarmed demonstrators who were marching in support of their deposed president; whereas at least 18 people were killed by the police and the military;

E. whereas in November 2019 Bolivia’s interim government filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors, seeking the maximum penalty for the former President Evo Morales of terrorism and sedition over his alleged role in fomenting unrest in the country;

F. whereas the open intervention by military and police forces in 2019 further destabilised the country; whereas the multiple acts of repression carried out by the military and police in public places were 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;

G. whereas the elections that took place on 18 October 2020; whereas the results of the elections, which saw Luis Arce legitimately elected as President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia have been widely recognised by the international community;

H. whereas in March 2021 arrest warrants have been issued and enforced by the national prosecution against former President Áñez, ministers of her interim government and other individuals who made up the interim government in 2019–2020, for crimes including sedition, terrorism, and conspiracy, in the context of a legal case known as ‘Coup d’état’; whereas on 18 February 2021, Supreme Decree 4461 was approved granting an amnesty or pardon to supporters of the government of President Arce who were detained for alleged crimes committed during the political crisis that started in October 2019;

I. whereas the EU has played an important role as facilitator in the pacification in 2019 and 2020 and in support of fair elections;

1. Expresses concern social and political consequences which has been unfolding and worsening in Bolivia since the abrupt rupture of constitutional continuity with the intervention of the army and the police of 2019 including repression of social movements and indigenous communities and deeply deplores the tragedy that has befallen all victims of the unrest in Bolivia; underlines the need to uphold the entirely lawful plurinational and plurilingual state;

2. Calls for a solution within a framework of transparent justice and without political pressure for the accusations for the events of 2019, including the detention of ex-interim President Jeanine Áñez; calls for full respect of her rights during detention, including medical care;

3. Calls on the Bolivian Government to urgently and diligently investigate, prosecute, and punish anyone responsible for the violence and serious human rights violations committed in the context of the crisis, and to ensure reparations for victims; stresses the importance of drawing up a plan to immediately assist victims of human rights violations and their families, and to provide comprehensive reparations for them; is deeply concerned that, to date, not a single person has been held accountable for the deaths in Sacaba and Senkata nor for the majority of the killings that happened in 2019; stresses that failure to act will deepen divisions, aggravating current tensions and undermining public trust in State institutions;

4. Urges that all the transparency must be down on the responsibilities regarding the abrupt rupture of constitutional continuity with the intervention of the army and the police and the human rights abuses which were committed since then;

5. Calls for full respect of the independence of power branches and that political differences are addressed through dialogue and reconciliation in order to preserve democracy, the rule of law and the respect of human rights;

6. Celebrates that the elections held on 18 October 2020 were held without incidents and with full democratic guarantees; highlights the clear electoral victory of Luis Arce and the Movimiento al Socialismo party; commends the successful holding of the subnational elections in 2021 and acknowledges the EU support to the 2020 presidential election with an Experts Electoral Mission and the EU positive role as facilitators in the pacification in 2019 and 2020;

7. Stresses that the independence of institutions and division of powers is essential to ensure due process, and notes that the lack of independence would affect the access to justice and more generally would diminish citizens’ trust in the national justice system; calls in this respect on the government of Bolivia to take any measures necessary to continue to uphold the rule of law and ensure the independence and impartiality of the country’s justice system, guaranteeing victims’ access to justice and on the need for timely and adequate reparations;

8. Share the views of the statement of the Secretary-General of UN recalling the importance of upholding due process guarantees and full transparency in all legal proceedings; and recalls the important steps taken by all Bolivian actors towards the consolidation of peace; calls on the government of Bolivia to fully cooperate with the UN bodies and to extend a standing invitation to the visit of all Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council;

9. Commends and supports the work of the UN working under the auspices of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and demand the re-establishment of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts for Bolivia (GIEI);

10. Stresses that all judicial proceedings must be conducted in full respect with the principle of due process in line with international law and ensuring judicial guarantees, judicial protection and access to justice, in the context of an independent and impartial justice system that is free from interference by other State institutions;

11. Is concerned about the increase in the past years in violent and inflammatory language, as well as verbal and physical violence directed against journalists, human rights defenders and indigenous people, reflecting deeply entrenched racism; 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;

12. Urges the EU to stand by Bolivia and to work with the newly elected authorities towards the consolidation of prosperity and stability of the country, in a spirit of respect, equality, justice, unity and inclusiveness;

13. Condemns the instrumentalisation of human rights for political interests;

14. Calls on the EEAS and Member States to increase their support for dialogue to address the profound causes of human rights violations in the country and to ensure non-recurrence, of politically and institutionally motivated violence in Bolivia, by supporting the urgent launch a national dialogue and reconciliation process, with the aim of defusing the tension and hostilities that are latent within Bolivian society, to ensure full respect for the human rights of all people;

15. Calls on the EEAS and Member States to increase their protection and support for environmental and human rights defenders in Bolivia; calls on the EU Delegation to fully implement the EU Guidelines on human rights defenders and offer support to civil society and access to protection of people at risk of persecution and, where appropriate, to facilitate the issuing of emergency visas, and provide temporary shelter in the EU Member States;

16. 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 governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Bolivia, and the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.

 

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