Impartiality, independence, and suitability are essential individual conditions in judges and are indispensable institutional principles of the Judicial Branch. Facts, however, reveal that in Argentina and Bolivia through undue actions the government applies, has subjugated the Judicial Branch to the Executive Branch, and has turned justice into a mechanism for political persecution and a guarantor of impunity for corrupt criminals in the government and its inner circles.
In the Americas, beyond being a part of every country’s constitution, the “division and independence of the branches of government” is a legal obligation as “an essential component of democracy” as mandated in Article 3 of the Interamerican Democratic Charter. The needed independence is necessary for the Judicial Branch to fulfill its function of “imparting justice” and “to place limits on the other branches of government”.
There is no democracy without an independent judicial system. If the Executive Branch subjugates the Judicial Branch, protection of freedoms, human rights, and the citizenry disappear and individuals are vulnerable to the whims of the government and “in a situation of defenselessness”. Sad proof of this is Cuba, where for 61 years the dictatorship uses judges and a “despicable legal order” that it has created to repress, persecute, subject, and assassinate people.
With Nestor Kirchner’s ascent into the presidency of Argentina on 25 May of 2003, a period of over 12 years of government started that lasted until 10 December of 2015, when his widow Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner turned the government over to Mauricio Macri. The government was retaken on 10 December of 2019 with Alberto Fernandez as President and Cristina Kirchner as Vice-President. The features of the Kirchner period from 2003 to 2015 are the dismantling of democracy, the judicialized political persecution, the alignment of the government with the 21st Century Socialism or Castrochavism, corruption and the economy’s, as well as the middle-class deterioration (which they have also retaken).
Evo Morales escalated to the presidency (sic: of Bolivia) on 22 January of 2006 with a 5-year mandate without the possibility of getting continuously reelected and remained there for almost 14 years, until his resignation on 10 November of 2019. Features of his regime are; the supplanting -based on counterfeiting and violence- of the Republic of Bolivia by a Plurinational State, the organization of a narco-state, judicialization of political persecution, dependence from Castrochavism, corruption, economic deterioration and the inducement of confrontation amongst Bolivians.
The governments of Kirchner in Argentina and Morales in Bolivia applied “the use of the Judicial for political persecution” that in Correa’s Ecuador was dubbed “putting the hands in the Judicial” and in Venezuela and Nicaragua is known as “the judicialization of political persecution” with notable and countless victims.
Kirchner focused on controlling the majority at the Supreme Court of Justice, rammed the members of the Federal Penal Appeals Chamber, trampled over the Judicial Council, took over the Attorney General’s Public Ministry, implemented the principle of a “militant justice” that persecuted and continues to persecute thousands of civilian and military. Morales supplanted the Constitution and the Republic of Bolivia and with the creation of his Plurinational State he forced out all magistrates, judges, and prosecutors, taking over the entire Judicial Branch with his operators with whom he imprisoned over 600 political prisoners, 1,200 political exiles as certified by the UN’s Refugee Agency (ACNUR in Spanish), and thousands of persecuted.
“Impunity” is a common feature. There is no precedent, in neither Argentina’s nor Bolivia’s history, of the level, amount and expansion of corruption with proof of illicit enrichment. In Morales’ case, those crimes are aggravated by narcotics’ trafficking, bloody massacres, accusations of underage human trafficking, and rape. His Judicial Branch protects Morales to the point that Bolivia’s Attorney General recently filed a complaint at the International Penal Court alleging that justice in Bolivia is in the hands of the dictatorship.
Fernandez/Kirchner’s government right now maneuvers with a proposal for judicial reform which is a new and definitive attack against the Supreme Court whose current composition does not guarantee the impunity for Cristina Kirchner and her inner circle who have been released from jail. To increase the number of Supreme Court Justices and divide it up by courts of 3 magistrates in each is an alibi to completely take over the Judicial Branch in Argentina.
The existence of politically persecuted and exiles from both countries, overlooked by the interests of functional oppositions, are living proof of the subjugation and manipulation of justice in Argentina and Bolivia.
Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators Association, ATA # 234680.