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LA PAZ (Reuters) - Former Bolivian President Evo Morales on Wednesday said he would be exonerated if new investigations were opened based on an independent report that found that "massacres" took place during the end of his presidency and the beginning of his successor's.
"They are not going to find anything, just waste their time," Morales said in a press conference from the Bolivian city of Cochabamba that was broadcast on Facebook.
On Tuesday, a group of experts named by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) published a report that concluded that the Bolivian state was responsible for the death of over 30 people in late 2019, amid violent protests triggered by a presidential election mired in scandal.
The report said police and armed forces had used "force in an excessive and disproportionate way."
The report recommends Bolivian prosecutors thoroughly investigate the report's findings, with a view to convicting those found responsible.
In 2019, Bolivia's long-time socialist leader Morales was seeking a fourth term as president, but allegations of electoral fraud triggered social unrest and ended in his resignation.
He was replaced by Congressional leader Jeanine Anez as president. The violence extended into the early weeks of Anez's presidency.
"I've been a victim," Morales added in his press conference. "I resigned so that no one was killed. Not a single death by bullet happened during my administration."
Luis Almagro, head of the Organization of American States of which the CIDH is part, said in a tweet on Tuesday that the report contains "important elements" that should be considered by the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
The United Nations mission to Bolivia said in another tweet it trusted the report's findings would translate into "concrete action" bringing justice for the victims, without suggesting the forum.
Anez was arrested earlier this year on allegations that she participated in a coup to oust Morales. She denies the allegations and says she is a victim of political persecution.
Bolivia is now led by Luis Arce, a close associate of Morales who belongs to his socialist party MAS.
(Reporting by Danny Ramos; Editing by Sam Holmes)