Security & Strategic Review - May 2021

BOLIVIA: Familiar concerns over judicial politicisation

The arrest in March of Bolivia’s former interim president Jeanine Áñez (2019-2020) and other high-ranking officials from her administration has reignited familiar concerns over judicial independence in Bolivia. Condemned by opposition parties and the international community, the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) government led by President Luis Arce insists it is merely ensuring that justice is served for the alleged coup against former president Evo Morales (2006-2019) and the human rights abuses that ensued. However, the array of charges levelled against Áñez has triggered accusations that the MAS government is exacting revenge on its rivals through trumped-up charges in the courts. This has prompted dismay in some corners that Arce, who had promised a more conciliatory leadership style after the divisive tenures of Morales and Áñez, may be repeating the judicial interference of which his predecessors stood accused. Here we revisit some of the complaints facing the country’s judicial system.

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