Jeanine Áñez, the former interim president of Bolivia, was arrested Saturday on charges of terrorism, sedition, and conspiracy over an alleged coup in 2019 that deposed the country’s socialist President Evo Morales, according to reports.
Al Jazeera reported that Áñez was arrested in Trinidad and moved to the Bolivian city of La Paz where she faced a judge. The report said that before her arrest, she tweeted, “The political persecution has begun.”
She appeared in court Sunday via a video link, and prosecutors called for her to be held for six months of pretrial detention because she was deemed a flight risk. She appeared in court with two of her former ministers, Rodrigo Guzman and Alvaro Coimbra, who face the same charges. 
Áñez tweeted:
“In an act of abuse and political persecution the MAS [Movement Towards Socialism] government has ordered my arrest. It is accusing me of having participated in a coup that never happened. My prayers for Bolivia and for all Bolivians.”
Reuters reported a prosecutor told the court that Áñez and her alleged co-conspirators “rigged” events stemming from Morales’ 2019 election win and subsequent protests over allegations of fraud. Morales said he was deposed in a coup he believed was backed by the U.S.
The arrest of Áñez has prompted critics in the country to speak out against President Luis Arce, a former economy minister under Morales. CNN reported that Áñez was president for less than a year and lost the country’s October election to Arce, who is from Morales’ MAS party. After Arce’s win, Morales returned to the country from a brief exile in Argentina.
Morales was the country’s first indigenous native-elected president in 2005. He was credited for nationalizing the country’s oil and gas reserves, the nation’s number one source of revenue, while redistributing much of the revenue toward infrastructure improvement, wage increases, social security benefits, education, health and price control on food, and other social programs. 
Julie Chung, Acting Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere, tweeted on Saturday, “We urge our friends and neighbors in Bolivia to uphold all civil rights and due process guarantees of the American Convention on Human Rights and the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”
TRENDPOST: We have been reporting on the political maneuvering and unrest in Bolivia following the disputed presidential election in October 2019. 
Since taking office in 2006, President Morales is credited with initiating many popular and successful socialist programs. When 51 percent of Bolivian voters, however, rejected his proposal to reform the constitution to end existing term limits, he brought the issues to the Bolivian Supreme Court, which rescinded legal limits barring elected authorities from seeking re-election indefinitely.
Following the court’s decision, protesters across the country took to the streets accusing Morales of an authoritarian power play.
His opponent in the current political turmoil, Carlos Mesa, is a former president who led an extended military crackdown between 2002 and 2005 against mass protests then led by Morales. Mesa is a member of the U.S.-based think tank Inter-American Dialogue and has the backing of the U.S. government.
President Morales and his MAS party were also being blamed for worsening economic and health conditions. 
Workers at the largest mine in Bolivia went on strike for three weeks back in 2019, and Bolivian doctors went on strike in protest of deteriorating hospital conditions and lack of resources to deal with the spread of an Arenavirus disease caused by rodent infestation.
TREND FORECAST: As we reported in the Trends Journal, the U.N.’s Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean had warned the COVID outbreak threatens another “lost decade” for what the commission called the worst-affected developing region in the world. The commission said extreme poverty in the region is at its worst level in 20 years and impacts 78 million people. 
We note this because as economic conditions across South America continue to decline, political unrest will escalate, and so, too, will the refugee crisis, as people risk their lives to escape poverty, violence, crime, and corruption.
As the United States has done in the past, it will support the militarist government and so-called socialist ones in the name of fighting drug wars, cartels, and terrorism. 

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