Bolivia overturns controversial decree giving police officers immunity

Bolivia rehearses peace gestures after month of deadly protests and clashes
La Paz, Nov 28 (EFE) – A decree granting criminal immunity to the military and police in Bolivia was revoked on Thursday after the interim government considered that the country had achieved "the desired peace".

Interim President Jeanine Áñez announced the repeal of the decree, which has been widely questioned by international human rights organizations and at home, where acts of violence since the October 20 elections – won by Evo Morales and later annulled – have left 34 people. killed and more than 800 injuries, many of them shot during military and police operations.

"We have achieved the desired pacification," Áñez said in a brief statement at the Government Palace in La Paz.

The interim president argued that the decree she issued on November 14, two days after taking office, was "a constitutional appeal" against "violent acts that had never been seen before" in Bolivia.

Jeanine Áñez referred to what she described as "days of terror" in the nearby town of El Alto, La Paz. According to her, more than 250,000 people were at risk of death in what could have been "a tragedy of devastating dimensions." "in a refinery.

At least 10 civilians were shot dead after a military and police operation on November 19 in this city of nearly 1 million, when thousands of Evo Morales sympathizing protesters against the Añez government gathered in front of the refinery.

The interim government denies that law enforcement has fired, while entities such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which sent a delegation to Bolivia, denounced the excessive use of force in this and other operations.

Amnesty International, the People's Defender of Bolivia – which has filed an unconstitutional appeal – and other foreign and domestic entities have sharply criticized Supreme Decree 4078, which exempted the military and police from criminal liability if they acted with "proportionality" and "in self-defense".

Acts of violence spread in Bolivia the day after the October 20 elections, in which Evo Morales was declared the winner amid allegations of fraud by the opposition.

Morales announced his resignation on November 10, following pressure from the Armed Forces over the release of a report by the Organization of American States (OAS) pointing out serious irregularities in the tabulation of elections.

The next day, he embarked for Mexico, where he received asylum, and since then the Bolivian Army has been conducting joint operations with the police, which called on the Armed Forces to deal with cases of violence against and against Morales protesters. to the power vacuum in the country.

Áñez, previously a senator, took over the interim presidency on November 12 and issued the decree two days later.

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