The report of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) denounced that there is an abuse in the application of preventive detention that hinders access to the truth of the judiciary in the country and showed a lack of independence of the public ministry that allows its application with purposes political persecution, said Foundation for Due Process (DPLF) attorney and senior program officer Ramiro Orias.
He pointed out that the GIEI-Bolivia had been closely monitoring the role of the judiciary in the country, for example that the State Ministry carried out illegal detentions during the expert group’s investigation period between September and December 2019.
“He talks about the illegal detentions that the public ministry is practicing. It gives a number of basic recommendations for the public ministry, mainly to act with greater honesty and autonomy. He attaches great importance to the need to ensure the autonomy of the public ministry in his investigations; In this sense, it is a very big call for attention to the work that the prosecution did before, during and after the crisis (of 2019), ”Orias told the ANF agency.
The GIEI has submitted its final report on the events of the last four months of 2019 to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Bolivian state. He presented his conclusions and a number of recommendations such as judicial reform and compensation for victims.
Orias emphasized that the report reveals a lack of independence of the Bolivian judiciary, which allows the judiciary to be instrumentalized for the purposes of political persecution and the practice of abuse in the context of preventive detention.
He noted that the report made specific recommendations for the investigative capacity of the public ministry. He said that when IDIF reported otherwise, especially regarding injured persons, the courts dropped investigations for lack of evidence in many cases. “Some people had lost their upper limbs from explosions and dynamite,” he said.
He added that the report also recognizes the legitimacy of mobilizing young people who protested in 2019 against the alleged election fraud complaint. He also exposed sexual assault in the city of Vila Vila and incited civilian groups, and in some cases involving officials of the government of former President Evo Morales, to political violence.
However, he said that the GIEI has made it clear that the investigation it is conducting is human rights-focused and will not be used criminally or that the actors named in the document may be prosecuted. He said he made it clear that he had not undertaken any analysis of the “election fraud” and “coup d’état” cases.
“The use (of the report) made by the government or the opposition, which contributes to the political polarization that contributes to exacerbating the social gaps in the country, is absolutely contradictory, as the report here rather appeals for the country to surpass political ones “Social polarization,” he emphasized.
Finally, he claimed that the supreme pardon and amnesty decree promoted by President Luis Arce was paradoxical in that it granted amnesty to those involved in “violent” acts then sponsored by the government. “However, we have the trial of former President Añez, which is very drastic and improper,” he said.
Page 284 of the GIEI report notes that Supreme Decree 4461 on Amnesty and Pardon “may adversely affect the establishment of the truth and the promotion of justice”.
“Given that the amnesty or pardon is, of course, an act of the executive branch, it should be noted that the application of the Supreme Decree may increase the perception of political interference by the government in the performance of the functions of the judiciary, power and prosecution. “reads the report.