UN experts concerned over mercenaries’ alleged coup plot in Bolivia

29 April 2009

A group of United Nations independent experts on mercenaries today voiced their deep concern over reports that five people were involved in a plot to overthrow the Government of Bolivia.

According to information available to date, the Bolivian police launched an operation on 16 April in the eastern city of Santa Cruz against a group, including foreigners, who were allegedly plotting to assassinate President Evo Morales and other top officials. Three people were killed in the exchange of fire with police, and two others were detained.

The UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries stressed in a press release that it is not expressing its opinions at this stage on the facts of the case, but noted that using mercenaries to overthrow UN Member States’ governments is an offence of grave concern.

It also underscored the principle of self-determination, under which all people have the right to freely determine their political status, as well as the right of the people of a certain nation to decide how they want to be governed without other entities’ influences.

The Group also called on “the Government of Bolivia, as well on the countries whose nationals were allegedly involved in the plot, to fully investigate this incident and to ensure accountability for any crimes committed.”

Created in 2006 by the Commission on Human Rights, the Group comprises five experts, serving in their personal capacities. They are Alexander Nikitin, Amada Benavides de Pérez, José Luis Gómez del Prado, Shaista Shameem and Najat Al-Hajjaji.


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