On November 4, officials announced that Pastor Mamani was elected to be President of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice.

Jurist Becomes First Indigenous President Of Bolivia’s Highest Court

Rick Kearns

The newest president judge of Bolivia’s highest court is an Indigenous magistrate, making him the first Indigenous person in that post.

On November 4, officials announced that Pastor Mamani was elected to be President of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, where five jurists, including the previous President, voted for him and four against.

In the press conference following the vote, Judge Mamani commented on the historic occasion and described some of his general plans.

“After 500 years, for the first time in history an Indigenous man will occupy this high post…and this happened due to the structural changes that have been made in this country,” he stated.

“I am grateful for the confidence shown to me by the other magistrates,” Mamani continued,”…and I will be on the side of the people and the Indigenous of the country.”

Mamani announced that he would establish a direct line of communication with the indigenous justice system in the country which, according to his colleague Romulo Calle, had become an “orphan” of the state.

At the press conference he said that one of his first tasks as President Judge would be to collect data on all the judges in Bolivia. He noted that the total number of judicial posts had been reduced in past years and that in order to break up the logjam of cases they would need to increase the number of judges working in each Department or Province.

He predicted that the information gathered would show that in accordance with the population density of each area, an increased number of jurists would be warranted.

His other objectives would be to “restore the credibility of the courts and to fight against corruption.”

Mamani has held a variety of legal and judicial positions since 1997 when he finished law school and before that he was an educator with experience as a teacher of History, Geography and Sociology. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and a certificate in Forensic Psychology. Mamani also taught History of Bolivian Law and History of Judicial Culture at the university level.

Prior to his recent appointment as President Judge, Mamani had been a Magistrate in the Second Criminal Court of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice.

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