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Far-Right Bolivia Coup Leader Jeanine Añez Arrested on Terrorism, Sedition Charges

"The authors and accomplices of the dictatorship that looted the economy and attacked life and democracy in Bolivia" must "be investigated and punished," said Evo Morales, the former president.

Jeanine Añez speaks at the Government's Palace on August 13, 2020 in La Paz, Bolivia.

Jeanine Añez speaks at the Government's Palace on August 13, 2020 in La Paz, Bolivia. (Photo: Gaston Brito/Getty Images)

Far-right Bolivian politician Jeanine Añez was arrested Saturday on charges of terrorism and sedition for her role in the 2019 military coup that ousted former President Evo Morales and ushered in a brutal regime that violently repressed largely Indigenous pro-democracy protesters.

In November of 2019—days after Morales was forced by the nation's military to resign and flee the country over bogus claims of election fraud—Añez declared herself the interim president of Bolivia in violation of the country's constitution. The Trump administration, then in power in the U.S., applauded the military coup as it drew global condemnation.

What followed was a wave of deadly attacks by the Bolivian police and military against demonstrators who took to the streets to denounce the subversion of democracy and the illegitimate removal of the nation's first Indigenous leader.

But last October, as Common Dreams reported, Morales' Movement for Socialism (MAS) party—now headed by Luis Arce—prevailed in the country's closely-watched presidential election after the contest was twice postponed by the coup regime. Añez dropped out of the race in September after polling showed her in fourth place; her ally, Luis Camacho, ultimately came in third in the presidential election.

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Early Saturday morning, Bolivian minister of government Carlos Eduardo del Castillo tweeted that Añez has "been apprehended and is currently in the hands of the police" after a warrant was issued for her arrest. Añez claimed she is a victim of "political persecution."

The Friday announcement of the warrant for Añez's arrest came after warrants were also issued for the former head of the armed forces and police, according to the Associated Press.

In a tweet Saturday morning, Morales declared that "the authors and accomplices of the dictatorship that looted the economy and attacked life and democracy in Bolivia" must "be investigated and punished."

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