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ARGENTINA’S president-elect Alberto Fernandez called on the UN to do something about the massacre of anti-coup protesters in Bolivia at the weekend.
He spoke out after Bolivia’s self-proclaimed president Jeanine Anez granted immunity to soldiers who commit crimes while suppressing the demonstrations that have erupted against the overthrow of former leader Evo Morales by the military.
“The personnel of the armed forces who participate in operations for the restoration of order and public stability will be exempt from criminal responsibility when they act in legitimate defence,” the decree reads. It also specifies that security forces may use firearms to put down protests.
“The de-facto government that has usurped power in Bolivia has conferred to the armed forces the right to act without having to answer for their crimes. The number of deaths grows. The Argentinian government [of Mauricio Macri, who will remain in office until December 10 despite losing the last election] is silent. The Organisation of American States endorses it. [UN human rights chief] Michelle Bachelet and the UN must intervene,” Mr Fernandez tweeted.
At least nine Bolivians were killed over the weekend, with four protesters shot dead in La Paz and five in Sacaba, where a march on Cochabamba by thousands of coca farmers in protest at the coup was intercepted by the military. More than 30 people were injured and over 160 arrested.
Ms Bachelet’s office expressed “concern” at what it said was evidence of 17 protesters’ deaths and hundreds of arrests and called on Bolivian authorities to respect human rights.
And the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemned the “excessive use of force” against protesters.
A statistical analysis of last month’s election has now been published by the Centre for Economic & Policy Research in Washington.
It confirmed that there is “no evidence that irregularities or fraud affected the official result that gave president Evo Morales a first-round victory.”
In Venezuela, tens of thousands marched in the capital against “fascism in Latin America,” condemning the coup against Mr Morales as well as the repeated attempts by Venezuela’s self-declared “president” Juan Guaido to do something similar.
Mr Guaido also called for demonstrations in Caracas to demand the removal of President Nicolas Maduro from office .
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