Luis Fernando Camacho, the governor of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, avoided testifying in the Coup d’Etat I case at least four times, defying the summons of the Attorney General’s Office.
During the Bolivian extreme right’s 36-day strike in Santa Cruz demanding that the national census be carried out in 2023, Camacho, who was one of the principal figures in the coup against Evo Morales in 2019, stated that he would not go to La Paz and turn himself in to the judiciary.
“If they want to send me to prison, let them come to my town, because I am not going to go and turn myself in to Masismo as they want me to,” Camacho said on December 9 during a rally in the capital of Santa Cruz.
In compliance with the Attorney General’s arrest order against the coup leader, the Bolivian police arrested Camacho on Wednesday, December 29, and transferred him to the city of La Paz, where criminal proceedings for the 2019 coup d’état are being held.
Camacho’s followers and several opposition politicians, who were also part of the circle that defined the strategy to depose Evo Morales from the presidency in 2019, claimed that the Santa Cruz governor was “kidnapped” and denounced alleged violations of his human rights.
However, the president of the Permanent Assembly of Human Rights of Bolivia (APDHB), Edgar Salazar, emphasized that Camacho had full knowledge of the criminal investigation procedures that began in November 2020, that he was summoned on several occasions to testify, and that he did not experience any aggression during his arrest.
“He was notified on four occasions to give his statement before the Attorney General’s Office in La Paz, something that he has publicly shunned and announced to the media,” Salazar stated.
Salazar added that Camacho “does not have privileges just because he is a governor” given his refusal to “subject himself to the criminal investigation process to give a statement. He has openly stated it to the media, so he knew of the consequences of his irresponsibility and the negligence of his lawyers who now want to paint him as a victim.”
Camacho, after being summoned in October 2021, announced that he would go to La Paz to testify in order to “tell the truth” and even claimed that “to remain silent is to offend the struggle of an entire people,” as reported by the Santa Cruz newspaper El Deber.
However, in spite of this assertion, on Wednesday night, Camacho invoked his right to silence before the Attorney General’s Office. The judiciary has sentenced him to six months of preventive detention while the hearing of the Coup d’État I case continues.
As soon as he arrived in La Paz, medical personnel performed a check up and reported that they did not find any injuries or signs of aggression on his person as his followers had alleged.
In order to certify this, the APDHB requested a report from the police and related medical personnel.
“We have from official reports that he has not experienced any aggression, nor has he been beaten,” Salazar affirmed.
The APDHB president also sent a message to those who are protesting against the Santa Cruz governor’s arrest, asking them to allow the Attorney General’s Office to do its work so that it can carry out the procedure in a transparent manner.
Salazar criticized the burning of offices of public entities such as the Departmental Attorney’s Office in Santa Cruz and five other public buildings, calling such actions “unnecessary” because these acts “would not influence the decision of the Attorney General’s Office.”
He also called upon the Attorney General’s Office to comply with the recommendations of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and to work on dismantling the parastatal group Unión Juvenil Cruceñista (UJC) that generates terror in the capital of Santa Cruz, as in 2019 during the coup against Evo Morales.
He stated that members of UJC and other such groups have threatened social leaders in a sort of “revenge” for the arrest of Mr. Camacho.
(ABI) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
scorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/sahelicot92/January 27, 2023