Calls intensify for resignation of OAS secretary general Luis Almagro

Progressive movements across Latin America have called for the resignation of OAS secretary general Luis Almagro, pointing to his role in the coup in Bolivia in 2019 and in destabilizing democracy in the country

October 25, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
OAS secretary general Luis Almagro

Several civil society and political organizations in Latin America have intensified the call for the resignation of the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro. The renewed calls have come following the historic victory of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) in the Bolivian elections that were held on October 18. The results have further vindicated the argument put forward by progressive groups across the world that there was no fraud committed in the elections held in October 2019 and that former president Evo Morales’s victory was legitimiate. Almagro and the OAS were instrumental in pushing the narrative of fraud which led to the coup that overthrew Morales, and also saw numerous human rights violations in the country.

The groups on social and mainstream media called out Almagro’s interventionist approach and have sought an investigation into his role in the destabilization of democracy in Bolivia.

OAS had called last years’ election of Evo Morales fraudulent which, according to the revised data published by the Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (CELAG), has been proven wrong.  The coup regime led by Jeanine Anez targeted and persecuted several MAS leaders and activists including Morales who had to go into exile.

Morales issued a statement on Thursday and said that he will sue Almagro in the International Criminal Court (ICC), and demanded that he resign immediately. “Luis Almagro does not have the moral authority to direct the destinies of the OAS; he must resign. His hands are stained with Bolivian blood. If it does not do so, I ask the member states to initiate their disengagement under Article 116 of the OAS Charter,” Morales said in a series of tweets.

The groups which are demanding Almagro’s resignation include Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos or Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our America (ALBA) and CODEPINK. They argue that Sunday’s landslide victory of MAS candidates Luis Acre and David Choquehuanca for president and vice-president respectively proves that there was no fraud in last year’s elections. The voting pattern for 86 precincts where OAS had specifically alleged fraud, has remained the same in this election as well. In fact, in some of these precincts, the MAS votes have increased in comparison to last year.

Several politicians from Latin America such as Dilma Rousseff, Rafael Correa and Jose Luis Zapatero, among others, have written to the OAS secretariat, saying that OAS’s insistence on classifying last year’s elections in Bolivia as fraudulent without clear evidence “unleashed a situation of political and social violence.”

The letter demands a thorough investigation of Almagro’s role “in the democratic destabilization of Bolivia.” It also argued that Almagro’s resignation is imminent because, “the exclusive relations he maintains with other countries in the area make him unable to continue exercising the role of democratic mediation and facilitation that he should play as head of such an important organization.”