Statement by the Chair of the Permanent Forum on the situation of Maria Eugenia Choque Quispe

Statement by Anne Nuorgam, Chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on the situation of Maria Eugenia Choque Quispe

The current situation in the Plurinational State of Bolivia is a matter of grave concern.  I call on all parties to make every effort to restore peace and stability in the country.

I would like to express my particular concern regarding the arrest of Ms. María Eugenia Choque Quispe, former President of the Bolivian Supreme Electoral Tribunal.  We are informed that she is currently detained at the Obrajes’ Prison for women in La Paz, Bolivia as of 12 November 2019. The charges against Ms. Choque Quispe are allegedly related to the recent electoral process.

We are informed that since her arrest on 10 November, Ms. Choque Quispe has not received the necessities requisite to uphold the basic human rights and dignity of her person. Further that both she and family members have received threats of physical harm as reported to the Bolivian Ombudsman’s Office on 13 November.

I urge national authorities to ensure Ms. Choque Quispe’s personal safety and security, and to accord here every protection for her human rights, in particular her right life and guarantee of due process. I also call upon the authorities to guarantee the personal safety of her family members.

Ms. Choque Quispe is a respected international expert on indigenous peoples’ rights, and a former Vice-president and expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2014-2016), a high- level advisory body to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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