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Bolivia ex-president Jeanine Anez behind bars over alleged coup

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Conservative politician faced an arrest warrant on charges of ‘terrorism’, sedition and conspiracy over alleged coup.

Video Transcript

- Four months ago, Jeanine Anez was president of Bolivia. Now she's under arrest, accused of staging a coup against her predecessor, Evo Morales. Shortly after being detained in the city of Trinidad, she was flown to the capital La Paz to face charges of terrorism, sedition, and conspiracy.

Anez is a conservative senator and at odds with the socialist party that now governs under President Luis Arce. He's a former protege of Morales, the former president she's accused of pushing out in 2019 to seize power. She says the charges are fueled by political revenge.

JEANINE ANEZ: It's an irregular detention because I was never summoned. In addition, as a former president, I'm in a unique situation. But even amid all the abuse and the outrage, I'm here.

- A group of opponents and supporters gathered outside the prosecutor's office.

- There was no coup. The former president was involved in fraud. And she took over the presidency through constitutional succession.

- Although divisive, her detention isn't a surprise. While in power, Anez was accused of siding with security forces to shut down dissent.

THOMAS BECKER: She came to power undemocratically. And within her first week, she oversaw two different massacres and offered immunity to the soldiers that carried out the massacres and for the next year carried out a slew of human rights abuses.

- The political crisis goes back to 2019, when protesters took to the streets, accusing Morales of stealing his re-election. Under pressure, the once-esteemed president resigned and fled Bolivia. Anez then proclaimed herself interim president. More protests followed. And dozens of people died after she took office. Now other politicians in her party also face charges.

EDUARDO DEL CASTILLO: We are talking about two former ministers, the former minister of justice and the former minister of energy. People who have conspired or committed crimes of sedition in our country will be investigated.

- While some say the arrest of Anez could lead to her political downfall, it's already reigniting tensions in the South American nation. [INAUDIBLE] Al Jazeera.