Presentation of the book «Jeanine, de puño y letra» at the Rule of Law Digital Center

On March 18, the Rule of Law Digital Center, headquarters of the World Law Foundation, hosted the presentation of the book “Jeanine, de puño y letra” (Jeanine, With My Own Hand), written by Jeanine Añez, former constitutional president of Bolivia and political prisoner for three years, and prefaced by Andrés Pastrana.

Alone with Andrés Pastrana, former president of Colombia and Human Rights activist, who prefaced the book, and Carolina Ribera Áñez, daughter of Jeanine Áñez, relevant figures in the promotion of the Rule of Law and Human Rights gathered in support of President Añez to present her book: José Ramón Bauzá and Leopoldo López Gil, both members of the European Parliament; Rocío Monasterio, member of the Assembly of Madrid; Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, lawyer of Jeanine Áñez before the International Criminal Court; and Leopoldo López Mendoza, Venezuelan political leader in exile and political prisoner for more than eight years in Venezuela.

President of the World Jurist Association & the World Law Foundation, Javier Cremades, opened the event acknowledging that «without the truth, free public opinion cannot function», adding that «we, citizens, must participate, as institutions alone are not enough to protect the Rule of Law».

José Ramón Bauzá and Carolina Ribera Áñez presented the book. Bauzá emphasized that the former president was arrested for defending a democratic transition: «complying with the Bolivian Constitution, she called for free elections. She did the right thing», while her daughter pointed out that «this book, which is her [Jeanine’s] testimony, was written from prison… and she always states that she has done the right thing, and that she would do it as many times as needed». 

The event counted with the outstanding participation of Andrés Pastrana, who prefaced the book Jeanine, de puño y letra, and pointed out that currently «we are living the judicialization of politics; we saw it in Venezuela with the case of Leopoldo López Mendoza, we see it in the case of Jeanine, we see it in my own case». Adding that «Latin American democracy defenders must raise their voices, and the international community must raise its voice in support of political prisoners, as must the European Parliament». 

As Jeanine’s international lawyer, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez highlighted that she «fulfilled the main mandate of an interim government: to call for elections. And her appointment to the presidency was supported by the international community». In Gutiérrez’s opinion, «this case exemplifies what should never happen in politics: the use of power as a weapon. Jeanine is a political prisoner, her human rights have been violated without trial, ignoring her condition of former president of the Republic». 

Rocío Monasterio, who has been playing these years as political godmother and voice of Jeanine Añez in the international political sphere, stressed that «Spain, in Europe, must play a key role in leading democratization in Latin America”, assuring that dictatorships are sneaking into democratic systems, stablishing themselves through the vote, while citizens allow them.

For his part, Leopoldo López Mendoza, as former political prisoner wanted to raise his voice “to emphasize that, nowadays, Bolivia cannot be recognized as a democracy, as it has more than 200 political prisoners, some of whom are being tortured». Along with him, Leopoldo López Gil, as the father of a former political prisoner, stressed that in such situation nobody should surrender. He also pointed out that «unfortunately, today many people want to turn politics into a self-benefit and not for the benefit of the community. The sacrifice of people like Janine or Leopoldo López ends up being necessary to unmask dictatorships and recover democracies».

The book Jeanine, de puño y letra, is currently available in Spanish in printed and digital versions.


Previous The Legal Service of the EU Commission Awarded with the WJA Medal of Honors in Brussels

Leave Your Comment

More Information

Home Office

World Jurist Association © 2023. All Rights Reserved