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Detained Former Bolivian President Reject Terrorism, Sedition and Conspiracy Charges

Protest demanding jail for Bolivia's former interim President Anez, in La Paz, March 14, 2021.

Former Bolivian interim president Jeanine Anez claimed Sunday that she had the people’s support, after a judge in the capital La Paz sentenced her to four months pre-trial detention for inciting a coup d'état against her predecessor.

“I have the support of the people because we defend the rule of law and of all those who believe in democracy,” Anez, former interim president of Bolivia said speaking in Spanish. “I cannot have the support of the MAS (Movement for Socialism) party because they obviously despise democracy.” MAS won the elections in October 2020 and currently controls the presidency and the Congress.

In a tweet later she said “[t]hey are sending me to detention for four months to await a trial for a ‘coup’ that never happened,” adding “[f]rom here I call on Bolivia to have faith and hope. One day, together, we will build a better Bolivia.”

Earlier Anez told reporters that the rule of law in the country was being “undermined” and that Bolivia could become a “no man’s land.”

Judge Regina Santa Cruz ruled in a virtual hearing on Sunday to send Anez, 53, and two ministers in her caretaker government to pre-trial detention after prosecutors had initially for six months as a “precautionary” measure.

Anez was arrested Saturday on terrorism, sedition and conspiracy charges.

The United States, European Union, and right groups, including InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights have called on Bolivia to follow due process without political interference.

Anez, a lawyer and former senator for the center-right Democrat Social Movement, took power after her predecessor Evo Morales and most parliamentarians from his MAS party resigned and fled the country in November 2019 as violent protests erupted across Bolivia amid accusations that he rigged the election.

The claims were supported by international organizations.

At least 33 people were killed, 30 of them after Anez took office.

Morales returned to Bolivia from exile after his former economy minister, current President Luis Arce led MAS to win the elections last October.