Bolivia: a massive national council requested amnesty for political prisoners and threatened to promote a recall of Arce
The Santa Cruz assembly demanded that a law be passed within 30 days to free Gov. Luis Fernando Camacho and called on the opposition to form a single political party to oppose the ruling MAS in 2025
< i class="i-share-btn telegram">A large crowd of people took to the streets to demand an amnesty law
Hundreds of thousands of Bolivians from across the country participated Wednesday in an opposition-led “national council” to discuss a series of proposals, including the resumption of protests that began in December for the arrest of the governor of Santa Cruz, Luis Camacho.
Civic movements and citizen groups critical of President Luis Arce called for a amnesty law that, within a period not exceeding 30 days, determines the release of Camacho and other imprisoned opponents.
If this is not done, they assured that they will “actively promote a constitutional process to revoke their mandate”. They joined the campaign to collect signatures to carry out a referendum on justice reform.
In the nine capital cities of Bolivia, the town hall was held this Wednesday, a sort of local assembly of the bases, to decide the course of the opposition actions that in the last two weeks have led protests in the country.
A crowd people took to the streets in Bolivia to demand amnesty
The call with the greatest concentration was that of Santa Cruz, considered the economic engine of Bolivia and an opposition stronghold, where the imprisoned opposition leader is the governor.
The president of that region's civic committee. Rómulo Calvo, read the questions and considerations that were subsequently approved by the attendees.
Among the determinations, a departmental guard was demanded to protect the population and a departmental Ombudsman, in addition to the release of Camacho and another 180 people whom they consider political prisoners.
Thousands of people participated in a national council in Bolivia
“The Government of the Plurinational State should not decree amnesties and that is precisely what is being requested in this council,” the Minister of Justice, Iván Lima, told the television station before the public meeting. Unitel.
In the morning with the support of the Catholic Church, Bolivian lawyers and volunteers began a campaign to collect signatures to carry out a referendum on justice reform,
“Enough! I sign”, is the name of the campaign that seeks to gather 1.5 million signatures. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal approved the books for the collection of signatures which, according to the law, will be carried out for 90 days.
Bolivians demand the release of political prisoners
“It is time for all Bolivians to be part of this crusade to reform this justice system,” said Juan del Granado, lawyer and former mayor of Peace. For his part, the vice-president of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference, Monsignor Ricardo Centellas, explained that the Catholic Church “is supporting itself so that the referendum in Boliviaand the transformation of justice will become a reality.”
Senator Luis Adolfo Flores, of the ruling party Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS), described the campaign as “stories” and maintained that the Legislative Assembly will begin the pre-selection of candidates for the judicial elections scheduled for the end of the year at the end of March.
The protesters they request an amnesty law in a period of less than 30 days
Justice reform is one of the demands of the opposition and civil groups critical of President Luis Arce that arose from councils called after the arrest of the governor of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camacho.
Camacho was remanded to jail for four months on December 30 while he is investigated for alleged terrorism.
The governor of Santa Cruz is accused of encouraging the protests that followed the unsuccessful 2019 elections in which then-president Evo Moraleswas seeking his fourth consecutive term and which were described as fraudulent by the Organization of American States (OAS). This unleashed a political and social crisis that left 37 dead and forced Morales to resign and flee the country.
Thousands of People took to the 9 most important cities in the country to demand the release of political prisoners
Subsequently, the then opposition senator Jeanine Áñez assumed the interim presidency. Áñez was also sent to jail for alleged terrorism and was later tried and convicted for illegally holding office, in the first instance.
In parallel, a delegation from the Commission Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) arrived in the country to verify the progress of the recommendations of an interdisciplinary group of experts on the 2019 crisis. The experts blamed the governments of Morales and Áñez for the violence that led to massacres, torture, summary executions and serious human rights violations.
(With information from AP)
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