A cloud of smoke from fires in various areas of the region is observed in Santa Cruz (Bolivia). . / Juan Carlos Torrejón / Archive
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La Paz, Sep 16 . .- The interim Government of Bolivia announced on Wednesday another process against former President Evo Morales, this time a trial of responsibilities for what it considers an « ecocide » due to forest fires last year.
The transitory executive argues that a « criminal » decree approved by Morales led to the burning of more than five million hectares, which it considers an attempt on life, « a crime » for which he must be tried, he told the media. the acting Minister of the Presidency, Yerko Núñez.
The interim minister affirmed at a press conference in La Paz that the former president and « his ministers » must appear in a liability trial, a mechanism planned in the country to prosecute the president for a series of crimes.
The decree « of ecocide » that authorized burning for agricultural purposes in the eastern region of Santa Cruz and the Amazon of Beni will be repealed, he stressed, to avoid a « disaster » like the one a year ago.
Núñez made these statements shortly after the country’s transitional president, Jeanine Áñez, announced the emergency declaration in Bolivia in the face of the fires.
Áñez traveled to the municipality of San Ignacio de Velasco, one of those affected by the fire in Santa Cruz, where he recalled that burning has already been prohibited since August in this region and in Beni.
The interim president pledged to avoid last year’s environmental disaster, resorting to « everything » necessary to douse the flames, and criticized a « double standard » of her predecessor, observing that in international organizations she defended Mother Earth while in her country « did not care. »
Jeanine Áñez was questioned during this day from different political sectors of Bolivia such as former presidents Carlos Mesa and Jorge Quiroga, considering that she is not doing enough to prevent these fires.
The interim government announced a meeting this afternoon local time with the international cooperation present in Bolivia, to request help, and estimated that 717,000 hectares burned so far this year, about 50,000 of forests, figures that it assured are much lower to those of 2019.
The Santa Cruz region has been declared an emergency before about twenty fires in areas such as Chiquitania, a transition area between the Chaco and the Amazon where fire threatens one of the country’s main natural reserves, the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park , declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
Since he temporarily assumed power last November, the interim Government of Bolivia has accused Evo Morales of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and others such as genocide, terrorism and sedition before the Bolivian Prosecutor’s Office. that he issued several orders for him to appear in the country for different processes, since the former president is in Argentina, where he requested refuge.