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Risch, Durbin, Colleagues Joint Statement on Further Democratic Backsliding in Bolivia

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in the following statement on continued democratic backsliding in Bolivia, including the continued jailing of interim president Jeanine Áñez and recent arrest of local governor and opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho:

“Bolivian President Luis Arce is facing a critical test of democratic leadership – whether to settle petty political vendettas on behalf of his predecessor or move his nation forward into the community of Latin American democracies. Absurdly locking up political opponents represents a dangerous display of authoritarianism and further erodes the already low confidence many Bolivians and the international community have in the country’s justice system. Bolivia cannot be a democracy if its opposition leaders compete in elections from behind bars. And regularly siding with Russian military aggression in votes at the United Nations only further tarnishes Bolivia’s democratic credibility.”