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Bolivia’s dialogue table agrees to a law of political guarantees and to review the immunity of the Army

November 24, 2019


The dialogue table established on Saturday with the participation of the Government, social organizations and legislators has agreed on a bill to provide guarantees of security and political rights and also ensure that eventual prosecution of dignitaries is done by constitutional and legal means.

In addition, the dialogue table has agreed to renegotiate Decree 4078, which exempts the security forces from criminal responsibility in their intervention against protests against.

Bolivia’s dialogue table agrees to a law of political guarantees and to review the immunity of the Army
Bolivia’s dialogue table agrees to a law of political guarantees and to review the immunity of the Army

The event lasted until after 2:00 AM on Sunday and the self-proclaimed interim president, Jeanine Áñez, members of her staff, leaders of the Unity Pact, formed by organizations related to the MAS, the Bolivian Workers Central, participated. representatives of other sectors, assembly members and the mediation of the Church and the UN.

The project is called “Law for the Pacification of the Country and to Reaffirm the Exercise of the Rights and Guarantees of the Bolivian People”. The agreed text is intended to guarantee the rights and guarantees of “social leaders, trade union leaders, mobilized persons, political actors, citizens in general, elected authorities, appointed and freely appointed officials, and prohibit de facto actions: arbitrary apprehension arrests and any measure that constrains the free exercise of rights and freedoms, “reports the Bolivian newspaper 'Los Tiempos'.

It also includes an article that provides guarantees for public charges. “The guarantees established in article 161 of the Political Constitution of the State and paragraph 1 of article 2 and article 12 of Law number 044 are reaffirmed,” he said. Said Law 044 and its mentioned articles mark in which situations a president and vice president may be subjected to prosecution for crimes committed in the exercise of their functions.

The original MAS project intended to explicitly incorporate that Evo Morales and Álvaro García Linera could not be prosecuted in the ordinary jurisdiction for acts committed in the exercise of their functions, but in the agreed text these two people are no longer mentioned, but only limits to ratify Law 044.

The agreed project also guarantees that assembly members will not be harassed and that they and the social leaders will be assured of exercising their rights. These people, their families and property may have security services following a verbal complaint.

The proposal also provides for the release of detainees who have no accusations against them. Deaths will also be investigated in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Legislative Assembly.

Likewise, it is stipulated that safe conduct will be given immediately to former authorities, leaders and persons receiving asylum from other States. It was also agreed to give compensation to families of the deceased and that the State will take care of the people injured in the mobilizations after October 21.

As for Supreme Decree 4078, sectors related to the Movement To Socialism (MAS) of Evo Morales have criticized that it violates the regulations and gives “white card” to the Armed Forces to fire on demonstrations.

The Government, through the Minister of Defense, has defended the decree with the argument that the Armed Forces are needed to protect the security of facilities such as the Senkata Plant and to counter alleged groups that would be armed and with the presence of foreigners .

Following the intervention of the leader of the oil leaders, Rolando Borda, the possibility was raised that the Decree could only be modified, because security is needed for strategic plants and companies of the State. Other leaders clarified that they are not opposed to the Armed Forces guarding strategic plants against terrorist threats, but their interest is that the military is not on the streets.

Faced with this possibility and the support of other leaders, the Minister of the Presidency, Xerxes Justiniano, has expressed the willingness of the Government to make a Decree modified precisely so that the Armed Forces are limited to guaranteeing the safety of state-owned companies.

“Let us provide the following: that the Decree will be repealed and will be modified by providing that the Armed Forces will be maintained in all those strategic companies of the State for their custody and conservation,” he said. They can also guard the repair of the gas pipeline that was damaged in the tropics of Cochabamba.

The interim president Áñez has stressed for her part that the Army has not taken to the streets on a whim, but because of the clamor and the extreme need of the citizenship for acts of vandalism.

The president of the Senate, Eva Copa (MAS), has pledged that this law of political guarantees will be approved by the Legislative. The objective of social organizations is to be promulgated along with the law of new elections at 5:00 pm on Sunday, although Áñez has warned that the first rule – already approved by the two houses of Parliament – will be promulgated at 10.00 and the other, after.

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