Bolivia: Land of betrayals and lies

Hugo Marcelo Balderrama

Jeanine Añez, former president of Bolivia, has been a prisoner of the regime for a year. The accusations against Añez have focused on events prior to her assuming power, including terrorism, sedition, conspiracy, breach of duties and resolutions against the Constitution. For the Movement Towards Socialism, the way in which Añez came to the presidency is a “coup d’état”.

Although Bolivian justice is far from being independent of the executive power, and the cases of Golpe I and II are nothing more than paraphernalia, it is no less true that the Añez government mocked the hopes of all of Bolivia. Let’s look at some of the relevant details.

In an interview with Pagina Siete (February 2022), former minister Roxana Lizárraga stated the following:

In 2019, the former authorities Arturo Murillo, Yerko Núñez and the then senator Óscar Ortiz agreed with the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) the tenure of the state attorney general, Juan Lanchipa. In addition, they ordered the safe conduct for Luis Arce to go to Mexico. There is a false opposition. Murillo was one of those chosen by the masismo. He has a half brother, Vladimir Sánchez, a former MAS minister, who was an important link with the Evo Morales regime. The MAS chooses its opponents, does them favors, gives them privileges and impunity. The best thing that Evo and the current president have is the “opposition”.

The same digital newspaper, but this time in March, collected a complaint against former minister Jerjes Justiniano.

The source stated: “Jerjes Justiniano kept the main adviser and chief of staff of Juan Ramón Quintana and all the people and team of Evo Morales in the Ministry of the Presidency.”

Xerxes Justiniano recognized this fact, and justified his actions by arguing that he sought to give continuity to the management of his office. The words of the former minister were:

My work was very busy in the pacification process, if I remember correctly I hired four or five people who needed to be around me. I kept Mr. Quintana’s chief of staff to make the ministry operational, he was a very professional person.

For her part, in January of this year, Milena Soto, activist and political prisoner of the Bolivian dictatorship, in a contact with Raúl Tortolero, director of the Mexican Catholic News Agency, recounted details of the actions of former Minister Arturo Murillo in the year 2020 :

During his administration, Arturo Murillo completely distanced himself from the citizen platforms of Cochabamba. Many activists asked him to meet in person, but he always said he was busy. In August, several Cochabamba leaders began to demand the annulment of the MAS acronym. It was at that moment that Murillo cut off any contact with platforms and activists. Then the meetings that the minister had with people from the MAS were made public, although he always argued that they were business matters. Those of us who risk our lives to defend democracy in Bolivia feel abandoned and betrayed.

Likewise, the clear divisions of the Movement Towards Socialism show us that Morales’ resignation in 2019 (there was never a coup) had much of an internal fight for the head of the party and the presidential candidacy. Citizen resistance was important, that is undeniable. However, Evo was unable to hold his party together during the social crisis, a weakness that forced him to resign.

The transitional government sought to co-govern with the rebel wing of the MAS. Therefore, a continuation internship was established that had neither the desire nor the courage to end the dictatorship or reestablish the republic of Bolivia.

The bad and the good of all this grotesque novel?

The bad can be summed up in the betrayal of Jeanine Añez and her government to a country that risked life on the streets for 21 days. The good thing is that we are witnessing the implosion of the MAS and its totalitarian hegemony.

“The opinions published here are the sole responsibility of their author.”