Pan-American Watchdog To Visit Bolivia Nov 22-25 To Probe Human Rights Record Amid Unrest

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th November, 2019) The Organization of American States' (OAS) human rights commission announced on Tuesday that it would pay a working visit to Bolivia from November 22-25 to look into the country's human rights record amid ongoing protests in the country.

According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the aim of the visit is "monitoring the human rights situation in the country."

On Saturday, the commission slammed a decree, issued by interim President Jeanine Anez, stipulating that Bolivia's armed forces were exempt from criminal liability while restoring order following her ascent to power. The document defies human rights and promotes acts of violence, the IACHR said, adding that at least 23 people have been killed and over 700 injured in clashes between anti-Anez protesters and security forces.

Bolivia plunged into crisis following the presidential election on October 20, which saw then-President Evo Morales secure his fourth term in the first round. However, the opposition refused to accept the vote results, citing alleged irregularities in the vote-counting process, which were subsequently confirmed by the OAS.

On November 10, the Bolivian military urged Morales to step down for the sake of the country's stability. As a result, he resigned the same day and left for Mexico after being granted political asylum. Bolivia's highest-ranking officials resigned as well. Meanwhile, Anez, the opposition deputy speaker of the upper house, declared herself the country's interim president. The Bolivian Constitutional Court has recognized her claim as legitimate.

Morales' departure, however, did not help stabilize the situation. On Friday, coca farmers supporting the former president took to the streets of the central department of Cochabamba to protest against interim president Anez. Morales has condemned the events in Cochabamba as "carnage."