Things That Matter

One Bolivian Official Wants To Jail Evo Morales For The Rest Of His Life But His Supporters Vow To Fight Back

As protests and marches continue to plague Bolivia each and every day, one government minister isn’t afraid to add fuel to the fire. The government’s interior minister has vowed to throw former President Evo Morales in jail on terrorism charges.

The country’s Interior Minister has promised to send Morales to jail for the rest of his life for actions he says amount to terrorism.

A top Bolivian official (the new right-wing Interior Minister) has vowed to jail the former president Evo Morales for the rest of his life, accusing the exiled former President of inciting anti-government protests that he claimed amounted to terrorism.

In an interview with the Guardian, Arturo Murillo claimed Morales had been orchestrating efforts to “strangle” Bolivian cities by ordering followers to erect roadblocks that would starve its residents of fuel and food. Murillo claimed that an audio recording – which supposedly shows Morales giving such instructions – was definitive proof of the alleged crime and said he was “200%” certain it was genuine.

“This is terrorism and this is sedition,” he said. “We have asked for the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.”

Murillo added: “Any terrorist should spend the rest of their life in prison – any terrorist – Evo Morales or whoever. It’s not about whether you’re an ex-president or white or black or a campesino … In fact, it’s even worse when it’s an ex-president. An ex-president should be sentenced twice over because people trust in their president.”

Experts worry about the sensationalist claims and the damage being done to Bolivian democracy.

Experts on Bolivian politics describe Murillo’s claim as a worrying publicity stunt that illustrates how the right-wing interim government is taking increasingly extreme measures to crack down on Morales and his party, MAS, in the wake of his controversy-shrouded resignation two weeks ago.

“What those charges are designed to do is keep Morales out of the country and cast his potential candidacy — in these elections or any future elections should he decide to come back — into doubt in the minds of a lot of Bolivian voters,” Calla Hummel, a political scientist at the University of Miami, told Vox.

Analysts say that Morales could try to return to power, despite the fact that his own party has demonstrated interest in carrying on without him.

For his part, Morales completely denies the allegations and vows to return to Bolivia.

Credit: Sierra / Getty

But Mr Morales has rejected the accusations and claims they are merely a ploy to stop him returning to his country, although he apparently didn’t rule out the audio being genuine.

According to The Guardian, he said: “I talk to everyone who calls me. Sometimes I don’t know them. Sometimes they seek guidance.”

The left-wing politician was forced to flee his country to Mexico after the army urged him to quit. Violent protests crippled parts of the country since his resignation which Mr Morales claims is a military coup.

However, doing so will prove difficult since Bolivia’s interim president has annulled the results from the last election and legally banned Morales from running in the next.

On Sunday, Bolivian interim president Jeanine Áñez signed a law that annulled the results of Morales’s election and prevents him from running in the next one, which should be held within the next few months. The law received unanimous support in Congress — meaning that MAS backed the idea of moving ahead to the next election without Morales as a candidate. Yet experts say Morales still commands huge support in Bolivia, particularly among poor, rural Bolivians, and it is within the realm of possibility that he could try to stage a comeback.

Two days after Morales resigned, Jeanine Áñez swore herself into power as interim president without the requisite presence of the legislative branch, which is still controlled by MAS. And instead of acting in a nonpartisan manner — her only political mandate is to hold new elections swiftly after Morales’s resignation — she has pursued an aggressive right-wing agenda. 

During her swearing in, she said, “The Bible has returned to the government palace.” The move was a pointed attack on Morales, since the constitution he passed in 2009 placed Christianity on equal footing with indigenous spiritual traditions. 

Áñez quickly set up a transition cabinet with almost no indigenous people, but full of business elites who oppose Morales. This was striking because Morales was the first indigenous president of Bolivia, and the country’s majority-indigenous population was considered his core base.

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In Total Telenovela Style, Spain’s Former King Is Forced Into Exile But Don’t Feel Too Bad For Him

Things That Matter

In Total Telenovela Style, Spain’s Former King Is Forced Into Exile But Don’t Feel Too Bad For Him

Daniel Perez / Getty Images

In news that totally seems to be made for TV, the former king of Spain – Juan Carlos – has been forced to flee the country and to live in exile as allegations of corruption emerge.

Juan Carlos had been a very popular and well-liked king until he was forced to abdicate in 2014. He had been on an elephant hunting trip in Botswana as Spain grappled with the very worst of the Great Recession and unemployment hit 24%.

Since his abdication, allegations of corruption and money laundering have chased him and harmed the Spanish monarchy, including his son, Felipe, who is the current reigning king.

Spain is reeling after their former king, Juan Carlos, has fled the country to live in exile abroad.

For a royal scandal with a dash of shock and awe, this week we look to Spain, where its former king has fled the country under a cloud of corruption allegations. This is the same former king who was accused of having a thing for Princess Diana.

Juan Carlos, who ruled for 39 years from 1975 to 2014, has fled the country following a series of allegations he pocketed tens of millions of dollars from a Saudi Arabian deal in an offshore Swiss bank account. He dropped the news to son and current rule King Felipe via a letter published this week.

The former king had become plagued with scandal after scandal and it was beginning to impact his son Felipe, the current reigning king.

Credit: Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images

Although he had several small scale scandals during his reign, Juan Carlos appeared set to go down in history as the leader who helped guide Spain from a deadly dictatorship to a healthy democracy after the death of Gen. Franco in 1975.

However, once his. 2014 abdication of the throne, new allegations of corruption and shady financial deals have followed him. As a result, the former king’s son – King Felipe – has led a very austere personal life in a country where the monarchy does not enjoy high levels of support. 

Many experts say that the whole situation has cast a shadow on the future of Spain’s monarchy. The emergence of shocking allegations of corruption and money laundering against former Spanish King Juan Carlos have cast doubt over the very future of the monarchy, under his son King Felipe

Meanwhile, officials actually have no idea where the former king is currently at.

Credit: Daniel Perez / Getty Images

Since the former king first published his letter detailing his plan to live in exile, outside of Spain, there has been intense speculation about where he would go. Turns out: we still don’t know for sure.

His letter gave no details about his destination but many media outlets reported he would be going to the Caribbean – perhaps the Dominican Republic. However, officials there said they had no information that he was coming. 

A spokeswoman for the Caribbean nation’s immigration service said he had not entered the country, despite reports that he had arrived on Tuesday. But she said he had been there for a few days from late February to early March.

Media in Portugal have reported that he is in a Portuguese resort town, but few outlets have actually been able to confirm these reports.

So with all this drama what could happen to the former king next?

As a royal, Juan Carlos still enjoys some level of immunity from prosecution. However, in Switzerland, which is investigating alleged money laundering, the former king has no immunity, regardless of the date of any possible crimes. So it’s possible that Swiss prosecutors could attempt to bring charges against him.

Regarding the Spanish Supreme Court inquiry, most experts believe the former king will avoid charges as most of the possible crimes took place before his abdication.

Spain’s Congress too has so far voted against a minority of left-wing and regional parties that wish to hold an investigative commission into the origin of Juan Carlos’s offshore fortune.

But what of King Felipe’s future in a country that polls suggest is split fairly evenly down the middle on remaining a monarchy? Some argue that Felipe needs to take greater steps towards a clean break with the past. The Prime Minister has admitted that he is in favor of reforming the constitutional concept of absolute immunity for Spain’s head of state. 

While a prominent supporter of Spain’s monarchy, José Antonio Zarzalejos, told the BBC that King Felipe should take further steps to secure his future on the throne, including the “physical removal” of Juan Carlos from Zarzuela palace.

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Latinas Are Opening Up On Instagram About Why They Didn’t Report Their Sexual Assault And The Stories Are Heartbreaking

Fierce

Latinas Are Opening Up On Instagram About Why They Didn’t Report Their Sexual Assault And The Stories Are Heartbreaking

Drew Angerer / Getty

TRIGGER WARNING for victims of assault.

Recently we came across six stories by women who opened up about why they didn’t report their sexual assault via the account @whyididntreport. Heartbreaking, tragic, and also empowering each of these stories were a reminder that not only do we need to believe women but also support them.

As a response to the posts, we asked Latinas what experiences they had with keeping quiet about their assaults.

See their stories below.

Because it was a family member

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“My mom did not believe me because it was her husband … we would always fight and he would put her against me … that’s why I always say my children will always come first … then anyone … even before me and my own needs.” – soley_geez

Because of the statute of limitations

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I did report. The cop taking notes told me they couldn’t file the report because of the statue of limitation being 10 years. I was reporting 13 years after I was raped. I was 3 years old when it happened. I was 16 when I reported.” – jedi_master_evila

Because she’d been labeled dramatic

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“He was my ex boyfriends cousin and I was intoxicated after a night of partying with a group of friends. I said no over and over again. I never came forward because I was already labeled/seen as “dramatic” by my ex and his friends and figured they wouldn’t believe me.” – love.jes

Because she was punished by her parents

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I was 12. He was 18. My parents found a note he wrote to me. They spoke harshly with him but never pressed charges and punished me for lying.” 0valicorn_rainbow_pants

Because it was someone she thought loved her

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I had a boyfriend rape me after I confronted him about lying and cheating. He used it as a way to punish me. And I stayed with him a year after the fact. I’m still processing feelings almost 20 years later. I’ve gone through self-destructive behaviors and tried to push others away. I’m forever grateful my husband showed me I am worthy of a beautiful life even after trauma. To all my fellow trauma survivors…we are worthy of good things.” – thebitchyhippie559

She thought she deserved it

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“He was my “step” grandfather. He molested me from ages 5-10, I was having some rebellious teen years and my parents were trying to find out why. I told them, my dad didn’t talk to me for a few days and after that everyone pretended that nothing happened and the rest of my family never found out. I held on to this secret until I told my parents at about 16 or 17 I was always so embarrassed and thought I deserved it.” – klemus09

She didn’t want to ruin HIS life

“It was my boss. At 15 I felt so bad, bc the wife was the only other person working with us and I was more worried about what this could do to their marriage. I thought I healed but typing this was hard.” –dolores.arts

If you or someone you know needs to report sexual assault, please contact the National Sexual Assault Helpline 800.656.4673 or speak with someone you trust.⁠⠀

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