Bolivia: Ex-interim President Jeanine Áñez arrested over 'coup'

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Image source, Reuters
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Jeanine Áñez tweeted a link to what she said was the arrest warrant

The former interim president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, and several ex-ministers have been arrested.

Prosecutors say she and the ministers took part in a coup against the then President Evo Morales in 2019.

Mr Morales resigned and fled Bolivia after the chief of the army urged him to step down amid protests over allegations of vote rigging.

Ms Áñez has said she is the victim of a political vendetta by Mr Morales's Mas Socialist party.

The party won a landslide victory in presidential and congressional elections in October last year, paving the way for Mr Morales to return to Bolivia from Argentina and take over the leadership of the Mas party.

His colleague Luis Arce was elected president, though Mr Arce stressed in a BBC interview last year that he would pursue his own political path, saying he was not Evo Morales.

As the most senior senator, Ms Áñez became caretaker president after Mr Morales fled. But members of the Mas party accused her, in cahoots with police and military figures, of engineering his overthrow.

She was detained in the early hours of Saturday in the city of Trinidad, government minister, Eduardo Del Castillo Del Carpio, announced on Facebook. She was then taken by plane to the city of La Paz.

Ms Áñez earlier tweeted "the political persecution has begun" and said an arrest document listed charges of terrorism, sedition and conspiracy.

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Evo Morales returned to Bolivia in November last year

Bolivian television also aired images of former energy minister Rodrigo Guzman and former justice minister Alvaro Coimbra being detained.

Mr Morales later tweeted his support of the move, demanding punishment for the people involved in what he described as "a coup" against him.

He fled Bolivia in November 2019 after weeks of violent protests and after losing the backing of the military over his controversial re-election to a fourth term in office.

Several of his allies in senior posts also left the country.

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