LA PAZ Ė A judge ordered the preventive incarceration of Bolivian lawmaker Marin Sandoval, who earlier in the week was removed as speaker of the legislature in La Paz province and suspended from his seat pending a verdict on charges he hit his girlfriend.
Judge Cinthia Delgadillo ordered that Sandoval, who belongs to the governing leftist MAS party, be jailed in the capital, the prosecutor for the case, Karina Cuba, said.
Sandoval will be brought to trial in accord with a law protecting women and designed to halt domestic violence against them in a country that has one of the highest regional rates of attacks on women.
On Monday, Sandoval admitted that last Friday he hit his 20-year-old girlfriend, who is also his secretary, but he tried to minimize the deed by later appearing later at a press conference with the young woman, who still showed the marks from the beating on her face.
Initially, the woman had filed a complaint with the police, but she withdrew it later, which did not prevent the Attorney Generalís Office from investigating the matter, as required by Bolivian law.
Gustavo Torrico, Sandovalís MAS colleague, told the media that the majority of the lawmakers decided on Tuesday to remove the accused from the speakership and temporarily suspend his ability to occupy his seat until the case against him is resolved.
Bolivia has a rigorous law against violence against women, but it has not been able to be fully implemented for various reasons.
Bolivian authorities this year have registered at least 107 cases of femicide, a crime that is punishable by 30 years in prison.