Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales and his Venezuelan ally Nicolás Maduro will end up in jail, because both leaders have “killed many people” in their effort to cling to power, Bolivian Interior Minister Arturo Murillo told AFP in an interview.
Murillo believes that conditions are being met for Morales and Maduro to end up “in a cold jail,” he said, referring to the report the government is preparing against the former Bolivian president, which will be filed at the International Criminal Court of The Hague (ICC) for crimes against humanity. Last year, six countries filed charges against Maduro with similar accusations.
The Bolivian transitional government attributes the 34 deaths recorded during the social unrest following his resignation on November 10, to Morales — in exile in Mexico — after the elections of October 20 that gave him a victory for a fourth term were annulled, and in which the Organization of American States found irregularities.
“I think that the conditions are being met for Nicolás Maduro to join Evo Morales in some prison in The Hague; that’s being prepared,” Murillo told AFP.
“Nicolás Maduro will end up in a very cold jail along with Evo Morales because they killed a lot of people and damaged their countries for power,” he added.
Last year, Maduro was denounced by Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru, before the international court for crimes against humanity in Venezuela since February 2014.
The Bolivian minister ruled out that Morales would return to power, as Maduro said on December 4 in Caracas.
“Evo Morales might come back, but no one guarantees that he won’t go directly to jail,” Murillo said.
Morales “lost the opportunity to exit with dignity,” the minister said. “He didn’t do things right; ambition and his closed circle of corrupt people and narcotraffickers convinced him” to run for a fourth consecutive term, although a referendum denied him that possibility in 2016.
“They tickled his ear, making him believe that he was a god,” Murillo said, but “he is a human being who has committed many crimes that he will have to pay for on this Earth.”
In 2017, Morales got the Constitutional Court to enable him to run for indefinite re-election, which was considered a human right.
Venezuela and Cuba are under scrutiny by the new Bolivian transitional government, which accuses them of “terrible interference” during Morales’ 14 years in power before he resigned amid a serious political crisis.
One of the first measures of right-wing Interim President Jeanine Áñez was precisely the expulsion of all the Venezuelan embassy officials in La Paz, due to “violation of diplomatic norms,” for allegedly interfering in internal affairs.
“The people who represented Maduro were engaging in terrible interference in the country, and obviously they had operators causing terror and fear” amid the violence unleashed in October and November, Murillo said.
The Áñez administration, along with more than 50 countries, has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the Venezuelan president.