The International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) and University Network for Human Rights at Harvard Law School released an important report that documents the use of state violence against civilians and the ongoing persecution of political opponents in post-coup Bolivia. This persecution is being carried by both the government and civilian auxiliaries. The report’s main focus is on two military attacks on peaceful protest marches in November 2019 in which 23 people were killed and hundreds more injured. The attacks on these protests were unprovoked and unlawful, and they are representative of an interim government that has resorted to violence, intimidation, and repression of critics and opponents for the last nine months. The interim government recently postponed the next election, and it is reasonable to assume that they have done this because they know that the MAS is likely to win it.
When the coup occurred last year, it was mostly welcomed and applauded here in the U.S., and the White House issued a very supportive statement. The cheerleaders of Morales’ overthrow could not have been more wrong about both the coup and the government that was taking power. Like other coups in the recent past that have been cheered on for “restoring democracy,” the coup in Bolivia has been a disaster for Bolivians’ human rights and their ability to freely choose their own government.