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Buenos Aires Hours | Human rights group insists on health of ex-leader jailed in Bolivia

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has asked Bolivian authorities for information on the health of jailed ex-president Jeanine ñez, who attempted suicide last month, the group said on Wednesday.

Áñez, 54, has been in prison since March, accused of carrying out a 2019 coup to overthrow then-president Evo Morales.

On August 21, one of the ex-chief’s lawyers said she attempted suicide a day after prosecutors filed genocide charges against her for the deaths of protesters during protests in 2019. Áñez denounced the charges as political prosecutions.

The Bolivian authorities had announced that ñez had tried to harm herself, the Minister of the Interior Eduardo del Castillo saying that she had suffered only “scratches” on her arm and that she was in stable condition.

Áñez’s family say she suffers from depression and other medical issues and have repeatedly requested that she be transferred to a hospital, but the requests have been rejected.

The IACHR sent a letter to the government of President Luis Arce, the group’s spokesman told AFP on Wednesday, without providing details.

According to Bolivian media, the letter, dated August 31, is addressed to Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta and asks him to provide information within seven days on Áñez’s “physical and mental health”, as well as his access. to medical care.

Áñez’s legal team appealed to the IACHR for help last week, claiming it had exhausted all legal avenues in Bolivia.

Conservative leader Áñez came to power in November 2019 after Morales resigned and fled the country after weeks of violent protests against his controversial re-election for an unconstitutional fourth term.

The specific charge of genocide concerns two incidents in November 2019, in which a total of 22 people died.

After Morales resigned, ñez, as the most senior parliamentarian on the left, was sworn in as interim president, but his political opponents denounced the move as a coup.

Under Áñez’s administration, Bolivia held peaceful and transparent elections in October 2020, in which Morales’ left-wing protégé Luis Arce won a landslide victory.

Arce then vowed to prosecute those he accused of staging a coup.

Áñez also faces charges of terrorism, sedition and conspiracy.

The Bolivian opposition has denounced the lack of separation of powers in the country, saying courts, election officials and prosecutors are all loyal to Arce.

Áñez’s detention has drawn widespread international condemnation.

– TIME / AFP

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Erica Gill

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