Police chief refutes opposition’s claim that warrant was issued for Morales’ arrest
Bolivia’s police chief dismissed reports that an arrest warrant was issued for Evo Morales, who has just resigned as president. The opposition said earlier that police and the military have been on the lookout for the ex-leader.
The commander of Bolivia’s National Police, Yuri Calderón, has dismissed reports that an order for Morales’ arrest is currently being served.
“There is no arrest warrant for Morales nor for any other ministers of his cabinet. A request has been put in with the Attorney General... for the issuance of an arrest warrant for the perpetrators and accomplices of those who violated the electoral process,” he told Unitel.
Calderón stressed that only the attorney general can issue an arrest warrant, and that the police have not received one yet.
Various online media outlets, television and social media outlets have spread the false notion in the past few hours that the country's police chief issued an arrest warrant for [former] President Evo Morales. This is an absolute lie.
He confirmed, however, that the former president and vice president of the electoral commission were arrested on Sunday. A video of the arrest has been circulating online.
#Último#P7Informa Policía confirma la aprehensión de Antonio Costas y Maria Eugenia Choque, exvicepresidente y presidenta del @TSEBolivia. pic.twitter.com/487w6gHsWg— Página Siete (@pagina_siete) November 10, 2019
On Sunday, Bolivian protest leader Luis Fernando Camacho claimed that an outstanding warrant exists for the socialist leader's arrest.
“Confirmed!! Arrest warrant for Evo Morales !! The police and the military are looking for him in Chapare [rural province in the northern region of Cochabamba], a place where he hid,” Camacho wrote, adding that the military seized the presidential plane Morales used to get to his political stronghold of Chimoré in the Department of Cochabamba, 300 kilometers (186 miles) east of La Paz, where he announced his resignation.Also on rt.com Bolivian President Morales announces his resignation
Morales fired back, calling the reported arrest warrant "illegal."
“I denounce in front of the world and the Bolivian people that a police official publicly announced that he was instructed to execute an illegal arrest warrant against me; in addition, violent groups assaulted my home. The coup destroys the rule of law,” Morales, who resigned earlier on Sunday after military and police demanded he leave the post, stated on Twitter.
Videos have emerged online showing what is believed to be the house of Morales being ransacked by protesters.
Saquean la casa del presidente Morales, hay orden de aprehensión en su contra y su vida corre peligro, queman una wiphala, detienen a presidenta del TSE y hay decenas de legisladores y funcionarios públicos pidiendo protección en embajada mexicana. ¿Es esto el futuro de Bolivia? pic.twitter.com/0KIk7Jp9Hu— Giorgio Trucchi (@nicaraguaymas) November 11, 2019
Morales’ resignation on Sunday was preceded by weeks of mass protests that swept through the nation in the wake of the October 20 general election, as the opposition accused his government of tampering with the vote tally. Morales narrowly secured a 10-percent lead over his main challenger, thus avoiding a run-off.
Morales denied allegations of wrongdoing, but agreed to an audit by the Organization of American States (OAS), which submitted its preliminary report earlier on Sunday. The report claimed that it was “unlikely” that Morales managed to score a 10-percent advantage over his opponent, Carlos Mesa.
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