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‘We Are in the First Phase of a Dictatorship in Bolivia’: Daughter of Former President Áñez

Hija de Jeanine Añez: "En Bolivia estamos en la primera fase de una dictadura"

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The former president of Bolivia Jeanine Añez is being submitted to ‘white torture’ in jail, according to her daughter Carolina Ribera Añez.

During a meeting with media in Madrid -organized by the Disenso Foundation-, in which El American participated, Ribera spoke about her mother’s situation. She told she is in isolation and is not receiving due process.

“On March 13 she was kidnapped and the white torture, which leaves no physical evidence, began. My mother tried to commit suicide because they began to threaten me,” Ribera said.

On June 10, 2022, Jeanine Áñez was sentenced to ten years in prison by the First Anticorruption Sentencing Court of La Paz for the alleged crimes of “breach of duties” and “resolutions contrary to the Constitution”. However, Áñez assumed as interim president precisely to enforce the Constitution.

On November 12, 2019, following the resignations of President Evo Morales, Vice President Álvaro García Linera, Senate President Adriana Salvatierra, and Chamber of Deputies President Víctor Borda, Jeanine Áñez provisionally assumed the Presidency of the country, following the order of succession to call new elections in accordance with the country’s constitutional line of succession. She did so with the support of the majority of the Parliament.

In that sense, Ribera insists that the charges for which her mother was convicted are a demonstration that she is being subjected to a “judicial lynching.” “It is the most illegal detention that has ever existed in the history of Bolivia. In my country, we are losing democratic values. We are in the first phase of a dictatorship. It is not about Jeanine Áñez, it is about abuses. Justice is being taken over by the executive body,” commented Ribera.

International community must denounce what is happening in Bolivia

For this reason, she assured that the international community must act to prevent the advance of these political systems that are similar to those of Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela.

“We have to prevent the advance of these regimes that violate all rights. When they arrested my mother there was a Cuban who was threatening me. I am convinced that Cuban intelligence is also in Bolivia”.

Ribera believes that if the world raises its voice, her mother’s release will be closer. She takes the opportunity to warn countries about strengthening institutions because what is happening in Bolivia can be repeated in other countries.

“I ask all people who believe in freedom to support us. This is a struggle for all of us who defend democracy because if it happens in one country, it can happen in another. We don’t know if we could be tomorrow’s political prisoners.”

Carolina Ribera will travel to the European Parliament in Strasbourg to meet with MEPs from the ECR group and to participate in the awarding of the Sakharov Prize, for which former Bolivian president and political prisoner Jeanine Áñez was a finalist in 2021.

Williams Perdomo es periodista y escritor, especializado en las fuentes Política y Cultura.