Bolivian ex-president Anez begins jail term

Thousands took to the streets of Bolivia on Monday in a show of support for former President Jeanine Anez as she began a four-month jail term.

She's been accused of leading the removal of longtime leader Evo Morales in 2019.

Demonstrators held signs calling her arrest "political persecution."

Anez was taken from her home early Saturday and later transferred to a women's prison in the country's administrative capital, La Paz.

Prosecutors for the socialist government said Anez used security forces to push Morales to resign after a contested election in 2019 and install herself as interim President.

Widespread protests broke out after Morales resigned.

At least 33 people were killed in the violence that followed, the majority after Anez took office.

The former conservative leader has rejected the charges against her, saying she carried out a constitutional succession of power to replace Morales.

Two former ministers have also been ordered into custody on charges of terrorism, sedition and conspiracy.

Justice Minister Ivan Lima said on state television late Sunday he would seek a 30-year jail sentence for Anez if she were found guilty.

Meanwhile, rights groups say judicial channels are being abused for political ends.