Latin America

Bolivia court drops ‘terrorism’ charges against Morales, annuls arrest warrant

A court in Bolivia has dropped the “terrorism” charges that had been filed against former president Evo Morales and annulled an arrest warrant issued for him.

Explaining the ruling, Judge Jorge Quino, the head of the Departmental Court of Justice in La Paz, said Morales’ rights, including his right for judicial protection, had been violated.

He also told Bolivia’s Unitel TV Network on Monday that the former president had not been properly summoned and the judicial procedures had been breached.

The Bolivian prosecutor general issued an arrest warrant against Morales in December 2019 over allegations of “sedition and terrorism.”

The interim government that was formed in the wake of a coup argued that Morales’ calls for protests after his resignation amounted to “sedition and terrorism,” and vowed to jail him “for the rest of his life.”

The Monday ruling is to be approved by the Plurinational Constitutional Court, which can reverse it.

Morales, who was in power for 14 years, was forced to resign on November 10, 2019 and go into exile after the country’s armed forces turned against him amid protests against disputed presidential elections that left 36 people dead and hundreds wounded.

Even in his absence, Morales’ Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) Party won majorities in both chambers of the Bolivian parliament in general elections on October 18.

Last week, Morales vowed to return to his country after exit polls showed that his former economy minister Luis Arce defeated centrist rival Carlos Mesa in a landslide victory in the presidential election.

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