Carlos Sánchez Berzain*


The inexistence of the Rule of Law and the lack of separation and independence of the branches of government in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Correa´s Ecuador, is the medium for the total manipulation of the justice system that dictators convert into their instrument of political repression, subjecting victims to persecution, jailing, and exile. Castroist Chavist doctrine in the 21st Century has as a main component of its social control, the flawed processes with the appearance of trials against innocent people, with the objective of annulling or subjecting them. Closing this dishonorable loop, the dictatorships use “amnesty” as a weapon to continue the manipulation of the individual and popular will, as is now happening in Bolivia.

Amnesty is “the pardoning of certain types of crimes that extinguishes the responsibility of their authors”. It deals with “the elimination of a crime´s penal responsibility”. Its origin and concept comes from the Greek “amnesty/forgetting, pardoning”, “without a memory of” to determine the “mutual and general forgetting of things past” and has –as one of its features- to be “a general standard that extinguishes the crime”, different than the pardon that extinguishes only the serving out of the sentence. With the pardon the individual still is guilty but is absolved from serving out the sentence, with amnesty, however, the person no longer has a penal responsibility. Amnesty corroborates the existence of a crime and it legitimizes the accusation, because if there isn´t a crime, there would be nothing to forgive.

In Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Correa´s Ecuador, a common practice was instituted for the dictator, or his cronies, to accuse citizens of crimes committed by the accusers or under the order of the accusers, or to falsely accuse them for inexistent crimes, or retroactively apply the dictatorships´ new laws or procedures that did not exist in the past.

In innumerable cases, through public speeches registered in communications´ media, the Castro´s Chavez, Maduro, Correa, Ortega, and Morales have dished out accusations against political, civic, union, business, press, and religious leaders, ordering their arrest, prosecution, seizure of their assets, and have practically mandated their sentencing which –after the fact- the regime´s “despicable judges” complied with by using the judicial system to carry out the ordered persecution.

Cuban, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, Bolivian, and even some Ecuadorean political prisoners and exiles, are the result of judicial prosecution with false and manipulated accusations, without a legal due process, without the presumption of innocence, without the legal equality of the parts, without impartial judges, without probatory equality, without any legal guarantees that would enable these to be called “judicial prosecutions”, VOID OF ANY LEGALITY.

Macabre orchestrations aimed at “assassinating the victims´ reputation” that Organized Crime´s dictatorships make against potential candidates, leaders, and defenders of freedom and democracy, with controlled publicity and a subjugated press. Examples of these theatrical sketches are the cases against Armando Valladares in Cuba, Leopoldo Lopez in Venezuela, Sanchez de Lozada or Las Americas Hotel or El Porvenir massacres in Bolivia, the prosecution for what happened on 30 September (30S) in Ecuador, and the current trial against members of the opposition and demonstrators for defending freedom in Nicaragua.

In this context, in Bolivia with over 1,200 political exiles, nearly 100 political prisoners, and thousands of politically persecuted, Evo Morales –with the argument of Bolivia´s maritime revindication, just announced the granting of amnesty for those he himself had ordered tried for corruption, namely; former presidents Carlos Mesa and Jorge Quiroga. Morales is manipulating the topic of Bolivia´s maritime revindication through its legal complaint filed at The Hague in order to ignore and disavow the Bolivian peoples´ decision rendered through a referendum election of 21 February of 2016 (21F), that prevents his reelection. The announced amnesty is but another shenanigan in that context.

History shows Morales, Mesa, and Quiroga to be very close: 1. Mesa granted amnesty to those who conspired and were the authors of the government´s overthrow in 2003, even up to now Morales is still protected by this amnesty and Quiroga publicly celebrated this break down of democracy. 2. The three of them carried out and approved the counterfeiting of the constitutional reform of 2004 by allowing for the constitution´s total reform through a constituent assembly with Law 2631, supplanting the text of the Law of Necessity for Reform. 3. They eliminated the Republic of Bolivia with the drafting of the Constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and in collusion approved Law 3941 whose sole reading would prove the crime of “Treason to the Homeland” and others. 4. In the new Constitution of the Plurinational State, they expressly introduced the President´s consecutive reelection which was formerly expressly prohibited by the Republic´s constitution, something that has allowed thus far the perpetuation of Morales in power. 5. Morales, Quiroga, and Mesa presented the new Constitution of the Plurinational State as something “of national unity” and promoted it in the referendum election of 2009 that the regime won through fraud, while the people, Civic leadership, politicians and Governors of 6 out of 9 States were being massacred (Las Americas Hotel, El Porvenir, Cochabamba, La Calancha, and more), and were being persecuted, jailed and exiled.

What befits here, and what the unjustly accused, imprisoned, persecuted and exiled deserve is not amnesty but justice. This will only be possible with the return of democracy with its basic components, Rule of Law, separation of the branches of government, respect for Human Rights, and freedom of the press. The use of amnesty in Bolivia is but another weapon of the dictatorships amply applied there. Whomsoever accepts amnesty for crimes whomsoever never committed is legalizing the despicable accusations the regime falsely lashed out.


*Attorney & Political Scientist. Executive Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.


Publiched in on Sunday September 30, 2018

*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.