Bolivian officials seek 30-year prison sentence for former president Anez

LA PAZ (Reuters) -Bolivia’s attorney general’s office is seeking a prison sentence of 30 years for former president Jeanine Anez, in a case which will try her for genocide over deaths during protests that followed the country’s 2019 election, officials said on Monday.

Over 30 people, largely supporters of former president Evo Morales, were killed amid unrest in late 2019, following a vote that saw Morales elected but later resign and leave the country amid accusations of election fraud.

Anez then assumed power, taking office for less than a year.

Attorney General Juan Lanchipa told a press conference that specialized military forces “used weapons with war ammunition against civilians,” resulting in deaths and multiple injuries from “the impact of firearm projectiles.”

“These events occurred after planning and execution of joint military police operations ordered by the government through the army and police commanders,” Lanchipa said.

An accusation was formally presented against Anez and some of her former government colleagues, as well as former military and police chiefs, Lanchipa added.

Anez’s legal team did not immediately reply to a request for comments on the new charges.

Last year, a Bolivian court found Anez guilty of orchestrating a coup that brought her to power during the 2019 political crisis. She is in prison after receiving a 10-year sentence.

Anez stated she is innocent of the coup charges, arguing that her ascension to the top office helped calm a tense nation and lay the groundwork for elections in October 2020.

(Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Sarah Morland and Alistair Bell)