Former Latin American leaders express “serious concern” for Jeanine Áñez’s health

Jeanine Áñez, former president of Bolivia, is transported by ambulance to a hospital in La Paz, 13 August

Jeanine Áñez, former president of Bolivia, is transported by ambulance to a hospital in La Paz, 13 August| Photo: EFE/Stringer

This Monday, 23 former heads of government and state from Spain and Latin America made an appeal to the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations (UN) to help protect life and integrity of former interim president of Bolivia Jeanina Áñez.

Over the weekend, the Bolivian government reported that Áñez tried to self-mutilate in the prison in La Paz, where he has been serving preventive detention for more than five months, and that his health is stable. Her lawyers said she attempted suicide and reported “abuses” against the former president, and that she is experiencing serious depression.

The former governors, members of the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (Idea), ask in a letter that the Inter-American Commission on Rights (IACHR) of the OAS adopt precautionary measures. Likewise, the authors urge UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to exercise her competence “quickly and effectively” to protect Áñez’s “rights to liberty, life and personal integrity”.

You signatories of the letter expressed “serious concern” for the state of the former Bolivian representative, they lamented “the lack of humanitarian treatment” and recalled that Áñez “exercised a transitional government accepted by the OAS and the European Union”.

Bolivian government denies “violations of rights”

The Bolivian government denied on Sunday that the rights of former interim president Jeanine Áñez were being violated, and confirmed that she is “stable” and that there is coordination with her family for her recovery.

The director of the Bolivian Penitentiary Regime, Juan Carlos Limpias, said yesterday during a press conference that the complex’s medical team treated the former president’s injuries and that the family was immediately informed about the situation.

Limpias indicated that he cannot give details of what happened out of “respect” to Áñez, but that she is currently “stable” and has the necessary equipment in Miraflores prison, in La Paz, where she is serving preventive detention to investigate the so-called “coup case”. of State”.

The director recalled that an agreement was made with the family and the penitentiary to allow a relative to sleep in prison to accompany the former president. Yesterday, one of Jeanine Áñez’s children slept in prison to keep her company in her recovery, Limpias said.

“Our president Luis Arce affirmed that the government respects human rights a lot, not in a theoretical way, but in a practical way, and once again we are showing this,” he said.

Limpias referred to the medical board held last Friday, attended by prison doctors, doctors from Áñez, his daughter, among others, which resulted in the recommendation that the former president should have a clinical psychologist and nutritionist.

“Fully sedated”

Carolina Ribera, daughter of Jeanine Áñez, confirmed her position of surrendering her freedom for that of the former president so that she could receive medical care from specialists. “Justice is allowing abuse, torture and ill-treatment by the state to be committed against a woman who loses her health every day,” he posted on Twitter.

Jeanine Áñez’s daughter told the Bolivian newspaper El Deber on Monday that the former president remains “totally sedated” and is suffering from severe depression, in addition to constant nervous breakdowns.

“She’s totally drugged, sedated, she’s in shock, she said she doesn’t remember what happened,” said Carolina Ribera.

UN representative visits Áñez

Yulia Babuzhina, representative of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, was at the prison on Sunday.

The Government Ministry issued a statement indicating that “a psychiatric evaluation is underway” to establish “the reasons and psychological characteristics of Áñez’s self-mutilation”.

On Saturday, several local authorities showed solidarity with Áñez and asked that the former president could defend herself in freedom.

A day earlier, the Public Ministry had filed an indictment against Jeanine Áñez to initiate a trial of responsibility for the deaths in two regions during the 2019 crisis, following that year’s failed elections.

Idea Group

Signing the document: Óscar Arias S. (Costa Rica), José María Aznar (Spain), Nicolás Ardito Barletta (Panama), Ernesto Pérez Balladares (Panama), Felipe Calderón (Mexico), Rafael Ángel Calderón (Costa Rica), Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica), Alfredo Cristiani (El Salvador), Vicente Fox (Mexico), Eduardo Frei R. (Chile), Federico Franco (Paraguay), Osvaldo Hurtado L. (Ecuador), Luis Alberto Lacalle H. (Uruguay), Mauricio Macri (Argentina), Jamil Mahuad W. (Ecuador), Mireya Moscoso (Panama), Andrés Pastrana A. (Colombia), Jorge Tuto Quiroga R. (Bolivia), Miguel Ángel Rodríguez (Costa Rica), Julio María Sanguinetti (Uruguay) , Luis Guillermo Solís R. (Costa Rica), Álvaro Uribe V. (Colombia), Juan Carlos Wasmosy (Paraguay).