ALMAGRO’S VIOLATIONS TO THE INTERAMERICAN SYSTEM IN BOLIVIA’S CASE
Carlos Sánchez Berzaín
With his backing to Evo Morales’ fourth consecutive candidacy, LUIS ALMAGRO, the General Secretary of the Organization of American States (OAS), annihilated his credibility, places the Organization in a crisis, and affects the region’s security. His justifications for his support to the crimes committed by Morales to indefinitely perpetuate himself in power, only make “Almagro’s double standard” more noteworthy and are proof the General Secretary violates the Interamerican Democratic Charter and the Interamerican System in Bolivia’s case.
This past 17th of May, Almagro on behalf of the OAS, gave his backing to the disqualified candidate. To give his backing means “to protect, to support, to guarantee”. He did so by declaring: “to say that Evo Morales today cannot participate, that would be absolutely discriminatory with the other presidents who have participated in electoral processes, based on a judicial ruling acknowledging the guarantees of their human rights”.
The General Secretary indicated that he does not have any “means or mechanism at the OAS” to challenge, to refute, to stop a breakdown of democracy or an alteration to the constitutional order, stating on the 20th of May: “My position remains the same, the reelection is not a human right, but I don’t have any institutional means to oppose a judgement, a ruling from the Bolivian Supreme Court, moreover because the Interamerican System never said anything regarding this”.
This past 7th of June, interviewed by journalist Fernando del Rincon, Secretary Almagro stated: “our position in Bolivia’s case, first, it is not a backing to a candidacy, that does not exist . . . our utmost impartiality regarding the electoral process, we are going to definitely work to objectively ensure the results are respected, we are going to work so that there are maximum guarantees in the process . . . so that all of this is impregnated with justice and transparency . . . what we have done is to take an institutional position regarding the issue that has to do with the practices in the Organization’s member states, in other words, this is not the first case in which reelection is invoked as a human right . . .”.
The facts and Almagro’s statements show: 1. That the OAS’ General Secretary backs, reiterates and defends his support to Evo Morales’ fourth consecutive candidacy to the presidency of Bolivia; 2. That in order to give his backing, Almagro traveled specifically to Bolivia, giving his backing at Evo Morales’ office and afterwards participating in Morales’ proselytizing events in the area where the coca/cocaine harvester unions -of which Morales is their leader- are located; 3. That Almagro is attempting to impose the fallacious reasoning of separating the inclusion of a disqualified candidate, as if he is not part of the electoral process, offering “maximum guarantees, justice, and transparency” after backing a constitutionally forbidden participation, and rejection by the 21F referendum; 4. That Almagro protects himself when he states “this is not the first case” alluding to the repetitiveness of the violation of citizens’ human rights in the reoccurrence of crime that, instead of repudiating it, is used to argue in defense of that which is defenseless.
Jurisprudence pins Almagro as violating the Interamerican System: 1. In Bolivia, Almagro has not met his duties outlined in Article 18 of the IDC that refers to “Situations that may affect the conduct of the institutional democratic political process” with regard to the ruling authorizing Evo Morales’ indefinite candidacy as a human right; 2. The judicial ruling, the ignorance of the results of the 21F referendum and of the constitutional prohibition of reelection, the acts of the Electoral Tribunal are all addressed in Article 19 of the IDC as “the breakdown of a democratic order or an alteration of a constitutional order in a member State”. Almagro should have and must activate the system, his inaction -meaning his omission- is used by Almagro as justification stating “the Interamerican System never said anything regarding this” (arguing by using his own fault in his favor); 3. If, on Venezuela’s situation Almagro drafted his OSG/243-16 report, contrasting the country’s reality to the “essential components of democracy” prescribed in Article 3 of the IDC, and he used the empowerment that Article 20 of the IDC gives him, then why does he say “I don’t have any institutional means to oppose . . .” in Bolivia’s case!; 4. The Secretary has never mentioned Article 32.2 of the American Convention on Human Rights that mandates “The rights of every individual are limited by the rights of the others, by the security of all, and by the just demands of the common good in a democratic society”.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy”.
Published by Infobae.com Sunday, June 9th, 2019
“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”
Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators’ Association, ATA # 234680.