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Morales forms an international team of lawyers that includes Baltasar Garzón after the arrest warrant

December 20, 2019

MADRID, Dec. 20 (EUROPE PRESS) –

Former Bolivian President Evo Morales has formed an international team of lawyers, which includes former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, to fight against the arrest warrant issued against him by the Bolivian Prosecutor's Office, which accuses him of sedition and terrorism.

“We are an international team, with Dr. Baltasar in Europe. We will act legally against this arrest warrant,” he said in a press conference held in Argentina, where he is a refugee, according to the Bolivian newspaper 'Página Siete'.

Morales has insisted that the arrest warrant “is not constitutional or legal” because, he says, “Evo is still president” and, in order to prosecute a head of state in office you must go to a liability trial, a special figure for high positions, although the complaint against him has been processed by ordinary means.

The indigenous leader argues that, since the Legislature did not discuss or accept his resignation, it has not materialized. He also argues that his interim successor, Jeanine Áñez, did not respect the line of presidential succession established in the Constitution, “so that any act of the Government 'de facto' (…) is illegal.”

The Prosecutor's Office issued an arrest warrant against Morales for sedition and terrorism, crimes that he is accused of for ordering to enclose important cities within the framework of post-election protests.

The arrest warrant is also directed against Faustino Yucra, the 'cocalero' leader who speaks with Morales in the telephone conversation that led to the criminal investigation against the former president.

In the recording, which the Government of Áñez made public, the voice attributed to Morales urges Yucra to give “hard battle to the fascists and racists”. “It is going to be time for combat, combat, combat … With the other people and other sectors, we are going to defeat them,” he says.

Specifically, he orders them to make “real fences” so that “no food enters the cities.” In addition, he explains that, so that people do not “get tired”, organize them into groups that rotate “every 24 hours.” “There is blocking until winning, brother,” he says.

The Government had already announced that it would denounce Morales before the Bolivian courts for sedition and terrorism and before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.

However, the Public Ministry clarified that it has acted ex officio for “the alleged commission of crimes of sedition, terrorism and terrorist financing” that reaches the “co-authors, accomplices and cover-ups.”

Both Morales and Yucra are in Argentina. The indigenous leader resigned on November 10 after confirming the “irregularities” in the presidential elections on October 20. He first arrived in Mexico, where he spent almost a month as an asylum seeker, but last week he arrived in Argentina as a refugee after a brief stopover in Cuba for medical reasons.

Casa Rosada sources consulted by the Argentine news portal Infobae have indicated that the Government of Alberto Fernández “will not deliver for any reason” to Morales. “We are going to protect Evo because it is appropriate to do so as a refugee and because the entire request for detention is a farce,” said an official.

The Government of Áñez has recognized that it will be “complicated” for Argentina to hand over Morales, but has advanced that he will ask the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) about the situation of the former Bolivian president and, if necessary, will appeal to Interpol.