New York, United States – Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated the series of developments that led to the resignation of Bolivia’s former president Evo Morales constituted a coup, raising the alarm about human rights abuses by the country’s military at the time.
Jose Miguel Vivanco, the director of Americas division of the Human Rights Watch, denounced on Wednesday the Bolivian military’s withdrawal of support for Morales, PressTV reported.
“Protests have increased, and the head of the army had nothing better to do than to suggest that Evo Morales resign. In my opinion, that is a coup. For the head of the army, a subordinate who has no say on deciding who stays and who goes, to suggest that a standing president should resign, [that amounts to a coup],” Vivanco noted.
Former Bolivian President Evo Morales, who had been in power for nearly 14 years, was granted asylum in Mexico after his resignation but vowed not to back down and continue fighting from abroad. The country’s first indigenous president later left Mexico for Argentina, where leftist leader Alberto Fernandez took office in December 2019.
Bolivian prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for the former Bolivian president over allegations of “sedition and terrorism”, leveled by the government of Jeanine Anez, Bolivia’s right-wing interim president. Morales has denied the charges. The new Bolivian regime has also threatened to imprison Morales for the rest of his life.