Bolivia’s interim leader Jeanine Anez has threatened that former president Evo Morales, who has been in exile since his forced resignation last month, will face arrest should he return to the country.
Anez, speaking at military exercises near Bolivia’s border with Argentina on Saturday, said that an arrest warrant would be issued against Morales “in the coming days.”
She said if Morales wants to return to Bolivia, “he knows he has to give answers to the country and he has accounts pending with the justice system, so he will have to face the consequences.
“Very likely, in the coming days the arrest order will be issued because we have already filed the complaint,” Anez said, adding that Morales would be investigated for alleged crimes of sedition and terrorism.
Bolivia’s first indigenous leader resigned in November under pressure from the military in what he said was a US-backed coup d’état against his administration.
Morales, who had already been president since 2006, won his country’s presidential election in October, but the Bolivian military and opposition claimed that the election had been rigged, inciting deadly street protests.
The Bolivian president — who enjoys a broad popular base both at home and in Latin America — nevertheless decided to resign and go into exile in Mexico amid threats of violence against him and with an apparent intention not to push the country toward further instability.
Last week, the ex-Bolivian president traveled to Argentina, where the new leftist government of President Alberto Fernandez gave him refuge.
Since Morales’ departure there has been on-and-off talk of his returning home and potentially reclaiming presidency.
But, in an exclusive interview with a Miami-based American Spanish-language television network on Tuesday, Morales said the US was against his return, and that while he had a right to go back, he wouldn’t seek the presidency if he did.
Featured image: Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Anez attends the closing of a training course, at the Bolivian Army’s School of Condors, in Yacuiba, Tarija, Bolivia, on December 14, 2019. (Photo by AFP)