BOLIVIA, FROM TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY TO DICTATORIAL CONTINUITY
Carlos Sánchez Berzain*
In Bolivia, the dictator was ousted but not the dictatorship. The process of the transition towards democracy that started with Evo Morales’ resignation, is inexistent. Interim President Janine Añez’s decision to run as a presidential candidate in elections she was supposed to ensure, has taken her from her role of directing the finding of a solution to be an important part of the problem. The interim government has changed its agenda becoming an electoral actor, instead of implementing urgent basic measures needed to replace the dictatorial system with the essential components of democracy. Now, instead of a transition to democracy there is dictatorial continuity.
To implement the dictatorial system in Bolivia, Evo Morales in 2003 toppled a democratic government and was granted amnesty decrees, still in force today, and counterfeited the constituent with Carlos Mesa and in order to eliminate the Republic of Bolivia and institute the “Plurinational State” committed massacres, assassinations, false accusations, falsifications, perverted the course of justice, and more. The massacres at; El Porvenir in Pando, Las Americas Hotel with the “cases of terrorism” in Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, La Calancha, are irrefutable proof. These crimes enabled the dictatorial regime’s occupation of the prosecutors’ offices, the Judicial Branch, to have control and subordination of the Legislative Branch and the electoral infrastructure and with rampant corruption and impunity have control of all governmental institutions.
Just as in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Correa’s Ecuador, Evo Morales’ Castrochavist dictatorial system in Bolivia imposed the “judicialized political persecution” or “the criminalization of politics” with which members of the opposition, political, civic, professional, military leaders, or just about anyone is accused of crimes committed by the very members of the regime, or of having committed inexistent crimes in order to neutralize, jail, torture, or force them into exile.
To perpetuate the dictatorship simulating democracy, in the electoral arena they imposed despicable laws (that violate human rights) that are still in force today and that breach the concepts of equality, universal and secrete suffrage, free and fair elections. The so-called “communal ballot” by deduction is simply electoral fraud and a way to control the votes. The same thing happens in rural areas with the allocation of congressional representatives by hundreds of votes, while in urban areas these allocations require tens of thousands of votes, this is nothing but a way to commit fraud in a “vote-catching dictatorship”.
Under the banner of “pacification”, following electoral fraud, counterfeiting, and flagrant crime, Evo Morales, along with all of his accomplices and accessory still have not been charged for those proven crimes. He is accused of proven terrorism, after he was ousted from power, but without any repercussions to his accomplices who now-a-days are candidates. He is not being investigated for narcotics’ trafficking and is a candidate for Senator, his Minister of Government is in jail and his Minister of Economy is a presidential candidate. Amongst other things, the “MAS” political party charged with electoral fraud, has been enabled to be in the forthcoming elections.
Lest we forget that the dictatorial system was imposed with the consent and participation of a “FUNCTIONAL OPPOSITION” that counterfeited and approved the Plurinational State’s constitution and presented it as one of “national unity” while Morales massacred in Sucre, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Pando, Beni, and Tarija and tried, jailed, forced into exile, or recruited their Governors. That functional opposition co-existed with the dictatorial regime until it was overwhelmed and ignored by the massive civil resistance that –avoiding its intermediation- was able to obtain the dictator’s resignation. But the functional opposition members formed the interim government that was meant to be for the transition and keept the “dictatorial institutionality”.
Personal ambitions and power feuds have eliminated the national agenda for the transition to democracy earned by the civil resistance movement which ousted the dictator. The squabbling between contenders has displaced ideas and democracy is still missing. Bolivia today has a government comprised by those who were opposition members functional to the dictator and who, while ignoring the historical opportunity, chose to keep the dictatorial system that in this way, only changes hands but not essence.
The dictatorship can win the elections’ first round and keep itself in power, functional opposition members are in the government and campaign to retain it, Judges and Prosecutors are the same, the accused and persecuted by the dictatorship continue to be compelled to “prove their innocence” instead of being presumably innocent. Human Rights continue to be violated, there is no Rule of Law, there is no separation and independence of the Branches of Government, there is no guarantee that elections will be fair and clean. Exile is a testimonial to the absence of free political organization and affiliation, and more crisis is on the way.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.
Published by infobae.com February 9th. 2020
“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibiliity of its author”
Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators’ Association, ATA # 234680.