Bolivia’s interim government is to file a case with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against former Bolivian president Evo Morales for “crimes against humanity,” Bolivian Minister of Government Arturo Murillo announced on Friday.
The government would file the lawsuit “in the next few days,” Murillo told state radio Patria Nueva.
The Hague, Netherlands-based court has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for crimes against humanity.
Murillo last week filed a criminal complaint in Bolivia accusing Morales of sedition and terrorism, after he allegedly called on supporters to blockade cities and cut off fuel and food supplies.
The former president “must answer to justice for what he has done, and is doing, in addition to his accomplices who have participated in the tragic events that Bolivians have experienced,” Murillo said.
If Morales — who fled to Mexico after resigning on Nov. 10 — is charged and convicted in a Bolivian court, he would face a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail.
Morales has in turn accused the interim government of “genocide” following the deaths of 32 people, mostly his indigenous supporters, in post-election violence.
Morales denied wrongdoing and said that he was being persecuted for leading a pro-poor, pro-indigenous government and nationalizing the country’s gas and other natural resources.
The Bolivian Plurinational Legislative Assembly last week gave a green light for a new vote without Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president. He had been seeking a fourth term after nearly 14 years as leader of the poor but resource-rich country.
Meanwhile, Murillo expressed concern over the arrival in Bolivia of an Argentine human rights group.
“We recommend these foreigners who are arriving ... to be careful,” Murillo said. “We are looking at you. We are following you.”
“There is no tolerance for terrorism, sedition or armed movements. Zero tolerance,” he said.
The Argentine rights group said on Twitter: “While the de facto government accuses us of being terrorists, we have started what we came to do, take testimony of the different human rights violations that the Bolivian people are enduring.”
India yesterday summoned Canada’s high commissioner in India to “convey strong concern” over Sikh protesters in Canada and how they were allowed to breach the security of India’s diplomatic mission and consulates. Canadian media reported that hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Indian consulate in Vancouver on Saturday over demands for an independent Sikh state, a simmering issue for decades that was triggered again in the past few weeks. Canada has the highest population of Sikhs outside their home state of Punjab in India. “It is expected that the Canadian government will take all steps which are required to ensure the
CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS: The US destroyer’s routine operations in the South China Sea would have ‘serious consequences,’ the defense ministry said China yesterday threatened “serious consequences” after the US Navy sailed a destroyer around the disputed Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) in the South China Sea for the second day in a row, in a move Beijing claimed was a breach of its sovereignty and security. The warning came amid growing tensions between China and the US in the region, as Washington pushes back at Beijing’s growingly assertive posture in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway it claims virtually in its entirety. On Thursday, after the US sailed the USS Milius guided-missile destroyer near the Paracel Islands, China said its navy and
‘DUAL PURPOSE’: Upgrading the port is essential for the Solomon Islands’ economy and might not be military focused, but ‘it is not about bases, it is about access,’ an analyst said The Solomon Islands has awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to a Chinese state company to upgrade an international port in Honiara in a project funded by the Asian Development Bank, a Solomon Islands official said yesterday. China Civil Engineering Construction Co (CCECC) was the only company to submit a bid in the competitive tender, Solomon Islands Ministry of Infrastructure Development official Mike Qaqara said. “This will be upgrading the old international port in Honiara and two domestic wharves in the provinces,” Qaqara said. Responding to concerns that the port could be deepened for Chinese naval access, he said there would be “no expansion.” The Solomon
The US Department of Justice on Friday unveiled spying charges against a Russian who, under a Brazilian alias, studied at a Washington university and then tried to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The indictment of Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov said it would try to contest his extradition to Russia from Brazil, where he is jailed on identity fraud charges. Cherkasov, 39, was detained at the beginning of April last year by Dutch authorities for using fake identity papers. He arrived in the country as Viktor Muller Ferreira, a Brazilian, to take a position at the ICC as a junior analyst. The