The government of internal president Jeanine Áñez denounced former governor Evo Morales to the OAS on Friday because it says it is instigating protests that make it difficult to fight the pandemic in Bolivia.
The complaint constitutes a new attempt to increase international pressure on Morales supporters to suspend the demonstrations to make it possible to transport oxygen tanks. On the fifth day of road blockades, 31 people sick with COVID-19 lost their lives, the government reported.
Protesters related to the former president, who ruled the country for almost 14 years, reject the postponement of the date of the presidential elections from September 6 to October 18.
“This situation is aggravated by the actions of political sectors that – led and incited by former President Morales – threaten the human rights of people suffering from COVID-19 and the population in general,” said Bolivian Foreign Minister Karen Longaric, who participated virtually in the extraordinary session of the Organization of American States, requested by Bolivia.
“These unscrupulous sectors do not hide their undemocratic nature. They seek chaos, confrontation and death to cover up fourteen years of waste, corruption and abuse, and impose their authoritarian agenda ”, he added.
He also asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to show “impartiality” in the Bolivian chapter and demanded that he stop being a “spokesperson” for the former president.
Shortly after, the director of Epidemiology of Bolivia, Virgilio Prieto, intervened, who explained that 23 people died in La Paz, another three in Cochabamba and five in Oruro due to the lack of medicinal oxygen, essential for patients who are in intensive and intermediate therapy.
“The baseness of trying to obtain political benefits from the suffering of the people in the face of this health situation is inadmissible. We reiterate that it is immoral and unworthy to play politics with people’s lives, ”said OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, after listening to the Foreign Minister.
The candidate Luis Arce of the Movement to Socialism – the former president’s party – criticized on social networks that the OAS does not also see the irregularities of the current government, in reference to the purchase of 179 extra-priced respirators in the midst of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, at the main maternity hospital in La Paz, 11 premature babies were at risk because the health center only had oxygen left for just over 11 hours.
“We ask that you help us save lives; we have a little more than 12 hours of oxygen left, ”pulmonologist Jorge Tejerina told Red Uno television.
The Ministry of Health reported 1,468 new cases of COVID-19 and 59 deaths, bringing the country to 87,891 and 3,524 deaths.
Bolivia is trying to recover from a political and social crisis after the failed elections of October 20, 2019 after there were allegations of fraud in favor of Morales, which generated a convulsion that led to the resignation of the president on November 10. Two days later Áñez took office with the mission of calling for new elections.
The elections were originally called for May 3, but as a result of the pandemic they were delayed to September 6 and then to October 18. The president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Salvador Romero, explained that the decision is due to the accelerated increase in infections and deaths.