Opinion

Why what happened in Bolivia was a coup

Why what happened in Bolivia was a coup Evo Morales Bolivia coup
Jeanine Áñez takes office as Bolivia’s interim president. Photo: Senado BO

Bolivia woke up to a new interim president today in Jeanine Áñez, who was serving as the second deputy to Bolivia’s Senate President. She proclaimed herself the new head of state — even without being elected by her peers, as the country’s constitution determines. She promptly promised to hold new, “clean” elections soon.

Brazil quickly recognized Ms. Áñez as Bolivia’s legitimate leader, with Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo claiming that “all [democratic] rites have been respected,” and that Ms. Áñez “takes office legally.”

But did she? To answer that question, let’s first recapitulate the Bolivian crisis.