2019 coup in Bolivia

Bolivia held presidential elections in 2019, which were won by the left-wing indigenous leader who had governed Bolivia for years by that point: Evo Morales. The Bolivian right-wing immediately challenged the legitimacy of the results, and launched a coup against him. They were supported by the OAS, and beyond that by the US government. Morales was forced to resign in November, despite having offered the compromise of an election redo, and he was forced to flee to Mexico, where he claimed asylum. Jeanine Áñez emerged as the new post-coup leader of Bolivia.

The OAS’s analysis of the results was extremely wrong, and it was not the first time they intervened in a country’s election based on false analysis (they did similar in Haiti in 2010). They claimed it was dubious that the results for Morales got better over the course of the count, even though it was the largely-indigenous rural booths that did favour Morales that got counted late because their votes had to be hand-delivered to electoral offices. The OAS claimed that this did not explain the results because the progress of the official count did not reflect the order in which votes were logged by the TSE. However, it was found that the OAS had set their spreadsheet of logged votes to “sort by alphabetical” instead of by timestamp, and this was why they “didn’t match”.

In July 2022, Jeanine Áñez was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for overthrowing an elected government. However, the party that was overthrown (MAS) says it has identified twelve other individuals whose role in the coup was also significant enough to warrant criminal charges, and indeed, it seems ludicrous to imagine that one person can carry out a coup all by themselves. In December, the Bolivian authorities managed to arrest Luís Fernando Camacho, a far right leader who had spent years fomenting violence against Morales’ left-wing government; his followers responded by rioting in the city of Santa Cruz.

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