Bolivia’s interim government filed a criminal complaint against ousted President Evo Morales for alleged terrorism and sedition after he reportedly organized highway blockades to prevent food deliveries from reaching some cities.
Morales’ alleged goal: to destabilize the interim government.
The complaint came after a video was made public in which Morales is supposedly heard on a phone call coordinating the blockades from Mexico. He’s been living there in exile.
He resigned on Nov. 10, after the military suggested he do so.
Morales has said the video is a “montage” by his opponents.
In this photo provided by the Agencia Boliviana de Informacion, Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks from the presidential hangar in El Alto, Bolivia, Sunday, Nov. 10. (Enzo De Luca/Agencia Boliviana de Informacion via AP)
Morales was ousted over disputed results of the Oct. 20 elections. Thirty-two people have been killed amid protests and unrest.
An investigation into the audio is being conducted; for the current accusations against Morales, Acting Interior Minister Arturo Murillo is seeking a maximum penalty of 15 to 20 years in prison.
The blockades in Bolivia have obstructed the free flow of goods in the country, especially in La Paz, where the government is located.
Morales said on Twitter that instead of investigating him, authorities should be probing the deaths of the protesters. At protests of Morales’ supporters, people are no longer even calling for his return. Instead they demand Interim President Jeanine Áñez be prosecuted after the killings and the use of the military to repress protests.
Blocking roads is a common form of protest in Bolivia and throughout South America, but Morales’ supporters have cut off fuel and food to some cities through the blockades.
On Friday, members of Morales’ party and the opposition said they are nearing an agreement to host a new election which will apparently not include Morales.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.