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Jailed Bolivian Ex-President Anez Denied Transfer to Hospital

FILE - Standing behind bars, Bolivia's former president, Jeanine Anez, speaks to an unidentified woman at a police station jail, in La Paz, Bolivia, March 13, 2021.

A Bolivian judge retracted his decision to allow for former president Jeanine Anez to be transferred from jail to a hospital so she could receive medical attention for alleged high blood pressure. The judge argued that hospital doctors can enter the jail facility to examine and treat her.

Judge Armando Zeballos of Bolivia’s court in its administrative capital of La Paz justified his decision saying that Anez must remain isolated in the detention center to avoid contracting COVID-19.

Anez, 53, who was sentenced to four months pre-trial detention a week ago accused of inciting a coup d'état against her predecessor, is being held in a women’s prison in La Paz.

Anez family and her defense attorney, Ariel Coronado, said although Bolivian justice officials authorized the transfer, the government of President Luis Arce, who chairs the ruling party, Movement for Socialism (MAS), has refused to comply with the order. “Once again we are facing abuse by the government of the most basic human rights,” said a message sent from Anez’ Twitter account.

“It seems to me that they want to see my mother dead, they have no will for anything, I brought a cardiologist, but they won’t let him in either. I am very indignant and I know that my mother has another crisis,” Anez’ daughter Carolina Ribera said while waiting at the gate of the La Paz prison.

Anez was arrested on March 13 on terrorism, sedition and conspiracy charges to topple her predecessor Evo Morales.

Anez, a lawyer and former senator for the center-right Democrat Social Movement, took power after her predecessor 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.

Morales returned to Bolivia from exile after his former economy minister, current President Luis Arce led MAS to victory in the October 2020 elections.

Besides the presidency, MAS currently controls the Bolivian legislature.