The former Bolivian president and the current head of the Justice portfolio, Ivan Lima, are the protagonists of a growing controversy based on mutual accusations.
The Movement for Socialism – Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (MAS-IPSP), the main government party in Bolivia, expressed its rejection and indignation of the recent statements by the current Minister of Justice, Ivan Lima, after announcing that he intends to prosecute the former president Evo Morales, for alleged “lies” and “slander” that he has said against him.
Gerardo Garcia, vice president of MAS —the party that led Luis Arce to the Presidency of Bolivia in the 2020 elections— referred this Wednesday, at a press conference, to the current situation between the party and the government, when he was asked if there is already “a definitive official break” or “imminent” between both parties.
“When is a final official break sealed? Or is there already an imminent break?” Asked a journalist and Garcia replied: “With what you’re threatening, [sobre] prosecute, imprison and disable our brother Evo, here everything broke”.
🔵 #Last | #Peace Given the announcement by Minister Ivan Lima to denounce Evo Morales, the vice president of the MAS, Gerardo Garcia, confirmed a definitive break with the government of Luis Arce. “With the threat of prosecuting our brother Evo Morales here, everything broke,” he said. pic.twitter.com/thOUxU5NDh
— Fides News Agency (@noticiasfides) August 16, 2023
The vice president of the MAS added that from the party they had “the hope” of being able to sit down to “dialogue, debate, discuss” and see how they overcome the differences with the Government of Arce, but now, after the position of the head of Justice, they are clear that they are like “water and oil”.
The complex situation that puts the MAS and the Government of Arce on different sides has radicalized in recent days, as a result of the growing political controversy between former President Morales and the Minister of Justicewith mutual accusations that have even been transferred to social networks and that could be transferred to the judicial level.
What is the controversy about?
Last weekend, Morales reported that he had received several complaints about a law firm that would belong to Minister Lima and would be managed by his brother, who “defends or advises” a private company that sues the Bolivian State for 35 million dollars.
The law firm to which Morales refers would be ‘Lima y Asociados’, which, if the lawsuit against the State is won, could receive a percentage of the lawsuit, equivalent to about 10 million dollarsaccording to the former president.
In addition, Morales pointed out that “the current image of justice” in Bolivia “is one of the worst”, because in his opinion “good judges are marginalized by the corrupt thread that the Bolivian Justice manages“, they refuse to reform the judicial system, they justify the 2019 coup against them, they release “corrupt sentenced persons from guilt”, and they sabotage “the election of magistrates to extend their mandate in exchange for disqualifying us and defenestrating the Organic Statute of the MAS-IPSP”.
The image of justice is one of the worst. Good judges are marginalized by the corrupt baggage that Bolivian justice manages. Was there justice reform? Has justice improved? The people have the answers. We have received reports that the office of the Minister…
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) August 13, 2023
Given this, Minister Lima told the Bolivian press that He has not had an employment relationship with the aforementioned law firm for two and a half years and that he does not intend to return. In addition, he indicated that he was not going to allow the former president “to continue insinuating or telling lies”, for which he warned him that he should start “looking for a good lawyer”, because would have to “answer their accusations in court”.
“Evo Morales’s lies are going to have to be proven before a judge (…); they are lies, they are excessive, they are slander, they are crimes that he will have to respond to in court because this has exceeded all limits,” he said. Lime.
The last mention of the Minister of Justice about Morales was made on Tuesday on the X social network, where he commented that the process that he intends to initiate against the ex-president will be processed before the judicial system and that It is not “prudent” to refer to the case, so “it will report the progress in a timely manner” that they give In addition, he commented that he should dedicate himself to attending to “public policies” and “not to a disproportionate fight that does not solve the lives of Bolivians at all.”
In the case of an issue that will be processed before the Bolivian courts, it is not prudent to refer to it. The progress of the case will be reported in a timely manner, I respect judicial independence. As Minister of Justice I must dedicate my time to address public policies and cases of… pic.twitter.com/76YoRA1t2l
— Ivan Lima Magne 🇧🇴 (@ivanlimamagne) August 15, 2023
“D”political decision of the government to disable us“
This Wednesday, former President Morales continued the controversy by responding to Minister Lima and his intention to prosecute him, a fact that he described as an attempt at political disqualification.
“The trial announced by the Minister of Justice and pro-government spokesmen It is the confirmation of the political decision of the government to disqualify us with a judicial maneuver”.
The ex-president added that the measure “is an act of dirty war of divisionism” that demonstrates “the betrayal and opportunism that is part of the destruction plan of the MAS-IPSP“. “In addition to imprisoning the leadership, they intend to oust our Organic Statute and sabotage the Ordinary Congress of Lauca N,” he said.
Morales indicated that with the accusations against him also “the allies of the coup and enemies of the MAS-IPSP are unmasked“. The former president also criticized the Justice of his country because it has not advanced in the trial for the massacres of Senkata and Sacaba, which occurred during the de facto regime of Jeanine Anez.
The trial announced by the Minister of Justice and official spokesmen is the confirmation of the political decision of the government to disqualify us with a judicial maneuver. It is a dirty war act of divisiveness, treason and opportunism that is part of the plan to… pic.twitter.com/UCwtfv77zB
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) August 16, 2023
“Former coup ministers and right-wingers remain free and unpunished like the drug trafficker (Sebastian) Marset. But when an indigenous leader denounces corruption in defense of the State, The minister known for anticipating sentences from the Constitutional Court quickly sets up a trial with an announced sentenceMorales questioned.
The former president commented that Lima would be accusing him “falsely of not respecting the Constitution” and would have offered, in exchange for prosecuting him, to extend the mandates of the magistrates. In this sense, he called on the people to judge the situation and said that the attacks against him are “for denouncing corruption and protecting drug trafficking”.
“As our ancestors and brothers from the social movements that fought against colonialism and neoliberalism taught us, we will defend ourselves with truth, honesty and dignity. The fight continues sisters and brothers. Only the people take care of the people. Always loyal, never traitors,” added Morales.
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