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Bolivian ex-president Anez ‘stable’ after suicide bid in jail

Jailed Bolivian ex-president Jeanine Anez was in "stable" condition Sunday after she tried to kill herself when prosecutors charged her with "genocide" over 2019 protesters' deaths, an official said.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 15, 2019 Bolivian interim president Jeanine Anez speaks during a press conference in La Paz. – Bolivia’s former interim President, right-wing Jeanine Anez, tried to ‘self-injure’ on August 21,2021, in the prison where she is being held and has ‘scratches’ on her arm, but her health is stable, a minister informed, while the opposition deplored the treatment given to her by the government. (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP)

Jailed Bolivian ex-president Jeanine Anez was in “stable” condition Sunday after she tried to kill herself when prosecutors charged her with “genocide” over 2019 protesters’ deaths, an official said.

Anez, 54, made an attempt on her life due to “severe depression” due to her prolonged imprisonment, said her daughter, Carolina Ribera.

“We can say, without a doubt, that her health is stable,” Juan Carlos Limpias, director of prisons, told reporters.

“At the moment, she is with her family in the penitentiary. The family will be an important factor to help improve her state of mind,” he added.

Bolivian officials had announced Anez tried to harm herself, with Interior Minister Eduardo del Castillo saying she had suffered only “scratches” on her arm early Saturday and is in stable condition.

The opposition deplored the government’s treatment of Anez and called for her release.

Former centrist president Carlos Mesa said official explanations of her injury were “not serious” and demanded an end to her “political jailing.”

Anez’s family has repeatedly asked the government to transfer her to a hospital for treatment of hypertension and other conditions.

The conservative Anez came to power in November 2019 after then-president Evo Morales resigned and fled the country following weeks of violent protests over his controversial re-election to an unconstitutional fourth term.

The specific accusation against Anez relates to two incidents in November 2019 in which a total 22 people died.

Attorney General Juan Lanchipa said Friday he had presented documents against her in which the incidents were “provisionally classified as genocide, serious and minor injury and injury followed by death.”

After Morales resigned, Anez, as the most senior parliamentarian left, was sworn in as interim president, but her political opponents denounced this as a coup.

Under Anez’s administration, Bolivia held peaceful, transparent elections in October 2020 in which Morales’s leftist protege Luis Arce won a landslide victory.

Arce subsequently vowed to pursue those he accused of staging a coup.

Anez, arrested in March on accusations of leading a coup, also faces charges of terrorism, sedition and conspiracy.

Bolivia’s opposition has decried the lack of separation of powers in the country, saying the courts, electoral body and public prosecutor’s office are all loyal to leftist president Arce.

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