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Request submitted in Bolivia for arrest of coup leader Luis Fernandez Camacho

A FORMAL request for the arrest of Bolivian coup leader Luis Fernando Camacho has been submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Former legislator Lidia Patty said she had presented a request for Mr Camacho’s arrest for crimes of sedition, terrorism and conspiracy that are being investigated with regard to the events of November 2019, when he led protesters in ransacking the presidential palace, tearing down the indigenous Wiphala flag and announcing, Bible in hand, that “God has returned ... Pachamama [the Mother Earth spirit revered by many indigenous Bolivians] will never return to the palace. Bolivia belongs to Christ.”

The lawyer of the co-leader of the National Confederation of Peasant Women Bartolina Sisa, Marcelo Valdez, explained that several of the necessary documents for issuing the arrest warrant against Camacho have already been delivered.

Mr Camacho, who is governor of Santa Cruz, is also under investigation for more recent events, with he and the Santa Cruz Civic Committee accused of “racism, discrimination and harm to the Wiphala” after it was torn down at a regional ceremony marking Santa Cruz Day (the day the city was founded) on September 24.

After Mr Camacho had addressed crowds, they rioted, tearing down the flag (which alongside the tricolour is Bolivia’s official flag and was raised at the ceremony in accordance with the constitution) and assaulting a cameraman for state TV and an indigenous activist. The president of the city’s Civic Committee, presiding over an official parade, also “jokingly” sprayed the air with disinfectant when a contingent of indigenous Movement Towards Socialism MPs marched past the podium.

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