Fagioli “was never imprisoned, he was simply told that we would help him get to the border or to go by plane to leave again because he was not welcome,” Government Minister Arturo Murillo said at a press conference about the incident. October 16 at night.
The detention for several hours of Deputy Fagioli at the El Alto airport just over a day before the general elections unleashed protests in Argentina by the Government of Alberto Fernández and in Bolivia by the Ombudsman’s Office, the Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS) and of the Ombudsman, Nadia Cruz.
Murillo, a strong man of the transitional government of Jeanine Áñez, implied that Fagioli was one of the foreigners he was referring to when he threatened to expel or imprison the observers who provoke violence in Bolivia.
The case also unleashed new friction with the parliament, whose president Eva Copa, of the MAS, said that the Argentine deputy had been invited by the legislative body to participate as an observer of the elections.
“There are only a few days left for Bolivia to return to the path of democracy,” Senator Copa said via Twitter, who previously maintained that she did not recognize Murillo as Minister of Government because parliament censured him on October 14 for not attending an interpellation.
The minister explained that other members of the Argentine parliamentary delegation entered without difficulty and that in the case of Fagioli, the Migration services detected that I would have lied when registering as a tourist.
However, he acknowledged, the substantive observation was that the Government considered that Fagioli damaged Bolivia’s image when, as part of another Argentine mission in November 2019, he denounced alleged abuses, including rapes of minors, committed by Bolivian police who repressed opponents of Áñez.
“This man is a person who has hurt Bolivia and we do not want people to come to interfere in our country (…) he was told that he was not welcome in Bolivia and that he would please return to his country,” insisted Murillo.
He added that the Government did not see in Fagioli an electoral observer but rather a guest of parliament, and that he was admitted following a request from the TSE to which the Organization of American States joined, “so as not to cause problems” to the electoral process.