Bolivia: HRF Urges IAHCR to Stop Evo Morales’ Authoritarian Power Grabs

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HRF Reiterates the Need to Apply Democracy Clause to Authoritarian Bolivia on the Occasion of IACHR Delegation Visit

Bolivia: HRF Urges IAHCR to Stop Evo Morales’ Authoritarian Power Grabs

NEW YORK (August 30, 2018) — On August 17, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) delivered a letter to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Commissioner José Eguiguren urging him to hold Bolivian President Evo Morales responsible for eroding the country’s democratic order. The delivery coincided with Eguiguren’s 4-day working visit to Bolivia earlier this month. The IACHR has the power to recommend actions that Organization of American States members should take to ensure that human rights are protected in all countries. HRF urges Eguiguren to promote a recommendation to OAS members to apply the organization’s democracy clause to Bolivia.

Commissioner Eguiguren and the IACHR delegation arrived in the country on August 14 to meet with government authorities, the opposition, and civil society organizations. The purpose of the visit was to gather information on the status of human rights in the country. HRF first called on the OAS to sanction Evo Morales’ regime after a Bolivian court eliminated presidential term limits in 2017. The IACHR delegation discussed this court decision during the visit, though Commissioner Eguiguren declined requests for further comment on this and other issues, explaining that he was currently unable “to express any views” on the working visit.

Though Morales has claimed that term limits violate his human rights, in April of 2018, Secretary-General of the OAS Luis Almagro made a statement explaining that “the right to re-election is not a human right in itself, but is derived from the right to political participation and is not violated by the imposition of term limits. These limits seek to avoid perpetuation in power and to ensure that democracy does not become de facto dictatorship.”

“Our letter explains how the Morales regime carefully and consistently worked to violate constitutional order and eliminate judicial independence in Bolivia, all so they could ensure Morales could keep his grip on power,” said HRF’s international legal associate Centa B. Rek. “With this letter, HRF hopes to help keep the conversation going on what appears to be yet another inevitable illegal bid for office in 2019. Bolivia might not be Nicaragua or Venezuela just yet, but Morales is certainly following in Ortega’s and Maduro’s footsteps.”

On November 29, 2017, President Morales was authorized by the government-controlled constitutional court to run for a third reelection, his fourth consecutive term and third illegal bid for office. The court ruling ignored a February 2016 referendum in which a 51.3% majority of voters rejected a constitutional amendment to allow Morales to run for this fourth consecutive term.

An HRF representative in Bolivia delivered the letter to the commissioner on August 17. The letter is the latest development in HRF’s efforts to support democracy and the rule of law in Bolivia.

Read the full letter here.

Read the letter in Spanish here.

Learn more about the Bolivia’s highest court decision eliminating presidential term limits in Bolivia here.

Learn more about the OAS importance in the promotion and preservation of representative democracy in Luis Almagro’s 2017 Oslo Freedom Forum talk, “A New Kind of Diplomat.”

TAKE ACTION!

Urge the Bolivian government to uphold democratic principles, respect the #21F referendum results, and refrain from violating the political rights and the rule of law in Bolivia.

Contact:

Use your Twitter platform to write to:

Evo Morales, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia

Twitter: @evoespueblo

Sacha Sergio Llorenti Soliz, Ambassador of Bolivia to the United Nations

Twitter: @SachaLlorenti

Gabriela Montaño Viaña, President of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly

Twitter: @GabrielaSCZ

Permanent Mission of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the UN

Twitter: @Bolivia_ONU

Send an email to Bolivia’s representative in the United States:

Sacha Sergio Llorenti Soliz, Ambassador of Bolivia to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of Bolivia to the United Nations

Address: 211 E 43rd St, Suite 802, New York, NY 10017

Phone: (212) 682-8132

Fax: (212) 687-4642

Please let us know if you took action at @HRF, @HRF_es. You can also CC your communication to: info@hrf.org

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