June 20, 2024

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Independent Expert Report on Bolivia: At least 37 people lost their lives in violence at the end of 2019

Independent Expert Report on Bolivia: At least 37 people lost their lives in violence at the end of 2019

Bolivian police, who have called for Evo’s resignation, are cracking down on anti-coup protesters. Photo: Reuters.

This week, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) published and submitted to President Louis Ars, the report detailing repressions, killings, torture, detention and other grave human rights violations. Human rights committed from September to December 2019 in Bolivia.

The 471-page report, divided into eight chapters, describes the social and political climate leading up to October’s presidential election, which was contested over alleged irregularities, and which led to a crisis that forced Evo Morales to resign in November.

President Louis Ars apologized to the victims on behalf of the state during the event at which he formally received the document. Arce remembered the deceased and spent a minute’s silence in their honor.

The report stated that “what happened implies the responsibility of the state for the actions of state agents and individuals (…) the police and armed forces, separately or in joint operations, used excessive and disproportionate force.”

Although the report, which will be central to the ongoing judicial investigations, did not mention the term “coup,” it does refer to the pressures and threats to Morales and the irregularities of the power grab by Jeanine Anez.

The report states that in the midst of a violent political struggle, at least 37 people lost their lives in different parts of the country, while hundreds were seriously injured, both physically and psychologically.

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One of the longest chapters refers to the violence and human rights abuses reported in the country after the presidential election.

The most serious cases, where there were the largest number of victims, occurred during the first days of the presidency of Nez, in the cities of Sacaba and Senkata, where massacres were committed by decree that freed the police and the army from responsibilities.

The balance in Sacaba was 10 people killed by gunshots. The Multidisciplinary Independent Expert Group was able to document the cases of 56 injured and 223 detainees.

In Sankata, the group concluded that there had been an excessive and unjustified use of force against protesters, with tear gas and firearms used, resulting in 10 deaths. Additionally, 78 were injured.

Aside from the massacres, the Global Intellectual Property Initiative asserts that the conflict that arose around the elections involved a significant proportion of discrimination, bigotry and racial violence that resurrected the problem of historical and structural identity in Bolivia.

The group’s report concludes with about thirty recommendations, among which are the development of a comprehensive care and compensation plan for victims that includes an accurate census of the population, as well as strengthening public measures to recognize their dignity and assume the responsibility of the state in the field of human rights. violations.

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On the other hand, the Global Initiative on Artificial Intelligence also emphasizes the need to support civil society initiatives to preserve memory, but without imposing unique versions and, above all, without fostering polarization and acknowledging the presence of affected people in both directions on the political spectrum.

It also recommends that the justice system be strengthened, with complete independence with respect to other authorities, that crimes are investigated seriously and thoroughly, and that due process and rights of victims and accused and trials are respected.

The group proposed the establishment of an independent mechanism to monitor the use of force and the behavior of security institutions in demonstrations and protests, as well as the adoption of accurate and transparent protocols and regulations.

(with information from RT)