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Bolivia charges 26 police officers for their role in 2019 Washington-backed coup

BOLIVIA is taking action against at least 26 police officials accused of mutiny for their part in the 2019 Washington-backed coup against democratically elected president Evo Morales.

Those facing charges include former Santa Cruz police commander Colonel Miguel Mercado and national police commander General Vladimir Calderon, who urged Mr Morales to step down. 

The complaints were filed by Deputy Minister for  Decolonisation Pelagio Condori on Monday. If they are accepted, the officers will be summoned by the Police Prosecutor’s Office.

Mr Condori presented video evidence that showed officers agitating for support as they confronted candidates from Mr Morales’s Movement Towards Socialism (Mas) party.

They are accused of of dishonouring national symbols, instigating strikes to exert political pressure and committing physical aggression.

“That year, the entire population witnessed the active participation of police officers in social conflicts, breaking the constitutional order, risking the country’s internal peace and security,” Mr Condori said.

Mas swept back to power last October with a landslide victory in presidential and parliamentary elections, after which Mr Morales returned from a year in exile in Argentina and received a hero’s welcome.

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