Evo Morales joins Mothers of Plaza de Mayo for weekly march
Former Bolivia president, currently living in Argentina as a refugee after being ousted from power, joined the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo for their weekly march in Buenos Aires' famous square on Thursday.
Former Bolivia president Evo Morales, currently living in Argentina as a refugee after being ousted from power, joined the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo for their weekly march in Buenos Aires' famous square on Thursday.
As many demonstrators holding banners that read "Freedom for political prisoners," indigenous leader was greeted as a hero by human rights activists and supporters, who yelled their support for the Bolivian leader in unison.
"¡Evo no estás solo!" ("Evo, you are not alone!") they yelled.
The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo (Madres de Plaza de Mayo) have marched every Thursday in the Plaza de Mayo, in front of the Casa Rosada, since 1977 to demand justice and denounce the killings and disappearances at the hands of the 1976-1983 military dictatorship.
This week's meeting was more high-profile than usual thanks to the presence of Morales, who thanked activists and campaigners for their support in the "fight against the dictatorship in Bolivia." It was the 2,176th march since they began demonstrating.
Morales, 60, who spent almost 14 years in power in Bolivia, resigned from the presidency on November 10 after two weeks of protests against his rule. That anger followed the disputed election results of October 20. The indigenous leader's exit from power was hastened when the Armed Forces and Police withdrew his support.
The Movement for Socialism (MAS) leader originally fled Bolivia for exile in Mexico and after a brief trip to Cuba, he has now settled in Buenos Aires, after being granted refugee status by the new government of President Alberto Fernández.
Morales has repeatedly said his removal was the result of a coup d'état supported by the United States and last week, Bolivia's chief prosecutor ordered his arrest on charges of "sedition" and "terrorism-financing."
This Thursday, the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo showed their support for Morales and denounced the actions of the interim government in Bolivia, led by Jeanine Áñez.
"We are working side-by-side with our colleagues because Bolivia is suffering: there are people being killed, going missing and many others who are not treated in hospitals," said the president of the the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, outspoken human rights activist Hebe de Bonafini.
On his side, Morales expressed his "respect and admiration" for the activists, whom he described as "defenders of life and democracy."
"I want to thank the Mothers for their invitation. The Mothers are respected throughout the world. So many marches for life, for democracy. I want to thank the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, so many human rights institutions, the Argentine people and the Government for accompanying the fight against the dictatorship in Bolivia, "