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The Bolivian Justice decided that Governor Luis Fernando Camacho, in prison for more than a year, be replaced by his vice


Luis Fernando Camacho (EFE/Juan Carlos Torrejón/File)

The Bolivian Justice decided that the governor of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camachoimprisoned since the end of 2022, be replaced by his vice, Mario Aguilera. A court ratified the order that the opposition leader, imprisoned in La Paz due to the 2019 crisis, be temporarily replaced by whoever followed him in the line of succession.

Zvonko Matkovicpresident of the Departmental Legislative Assembly of Santa Cruz, Aguilera was sworn in in an emergency session after a constitutional chamber urged the local Parliament to comply this Friday with the ruling on Camacho’s temporary replacement.

“In compliance with the judicial order and in the unfortunate state of siege that exists in this Government, at this moment surrounded by police, we proceed to summon the architect Mario Aguilera Cirbian”, Matkovic indicated before proclaiming it as “temporary substitute governor” from Santa Cruz.

Mario Aguilera delivers a speech after taking office as the new governor of Santa Cruz, Bolivia (EFE/Juan Carlos Torrejón)

Luis Fernando Camacho He has been imprisoned since the end of 2022 for the case “Coup d’état I”, which investigates the events that arose in the 2019 crisis that led to the resignation of the then president Evo Moralesaccused of electoral fraud.

Minutes after the swearing-in of his now successor, Camacho expressed himself through his account on X, formerly Twitter: “Today the MAS justice (in reference to the ruling party MAS) fulfills its objective, imposes on its Governordespite the legal and courageous resistance of the president of the Departmental Legislative Assembly, Zvonko Matkovic, and the assembly members of Podemos who defended the vote of the people of Santa Cruz until the last moment.

“This process that we began together with the people of Santa Cruz when we rose up to defend democracy from Masista fraud, I have understood it as a path of sacrifice and faith. That is why in the face of abuse and abuse, these words are not of discouragement or resentment, God knows why things happen and he is the only one who, in due time, puts things and men in their place.” express.

The message of Luis Fernando Camacho

And he continued: “To the assembly members, the deputies and senators, the Cree activists and all the people from Santa Cruz who gave us their vote, I send you my message of gratitude for your support and I tell you that The Departmental Government that our people elected has been replaced today in an illegal and undemocratic manner. The new authority will be responsible for providing continuity to the policies that our people supported or for adapting to the pressures and demands of the masism that facilitated his assumption of office.”

Camacho asked that “there is no hopelessness“, given that – in his words – the people of Santa Cruz have “a historical agenda to fulfill. We must remain organized because great tasks remain, the defense of the land and territory from enslavement, the defense of water, the development of the provinces and fundamentally the fight for democracy and freedom that we must promote in unity with all the Bolivian people.” .

When it is the people who elect you, you arrive with people, when it is the massist dictatorship you arrive with the public force. Thank you Santa Cruz for choosing me. From this prison where I am kidnapped, my message continues to be one of faith and firmness. Neither the pressures of massism nor betrayal will be able to change the commitment I made to my people in the town councils, I will be with you defending our Holy Cross and our democracy today and always. God bless our beautiful Santa Cruz! “He concluded.

Camacho with the governor’s band at a prison hearing (Archive)

He was the leader of the Bolivian rebellion that denounced fraud in the 2019 elections in which the former president won. Evo Morales. This lawyer with a master’s degree in tax law from the University of Barcelona gained notoriety as president of the Pro-Santa Cruz Committeea conglomerate of business, neighborhood and labor entities from the richest region of Bolivia.

After the elections of October 20, 2019, called for the first protests to denounce fraud at the polls. The demonstrations began in Santa Cruz but quickly spread to other cities in the country, including La Paz.

On the night of November 4, as protests grew, Camacho flew from Santa Cruz to La Paz to force Morales to sign a resignation letter that he himself had drafted. However, he had to return to his bastion, prevented from leaving the airport by the presence of pro-government protesters.

Camacho became the most visible face of the opposition to Morales after the 2019 elections, although he had not been a candidate for the Presidency. Her allies formed the cabinet of the former interim head of state Jeanine Anezamong them Xerxes Justinian, in the influential position of Minister of the Presidency. However, The president removed him three weeks later.

The family of Luis Fernando Camacho in a march in Santa Cruz (Archive)

Justiniano had been key to reaching pacification agreements with unions of peasants and workers loyal to Morales, and to agreeing a law with the left-wing parliamentarians who controlled Congress to call new general elections in 2020.

After a while, The break between Camacho and Áñez was sealed when both launched their candidacies for the 2020 elections. She later withdrew her candidacy due to lacking chances of winning.

In those elections, the candidate of the Movement towards Socialism (MAS), Luis Arce, won with 55.11% of the votes. Secondly, it ended Carlos Mesa, with 28.83%; and third, Camachowith 14.00%.

Luis Camacho was governor of the Department of Santa Cruz since May 3, 2021.



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