Bolivia: Five Killed in Clashes Between Police, Morales Supporters

  • The images of the bodies began to be shared on social networks.
  • In a statement, the IACHR denounced "the excessive use of force by the police and military" to suppress demonstrations.
  • Interim President Jeanine Áñez called Morales decision to leave "cowardly," Morales called Áñez a "self-proclaimed president."

Five coca growers supporting former Bolivian President Evo Morales, exiled in Mexico after resigning, died in clashes with police and the army on Friday. The killings took place in the suburb of Cochabamba (central Bolivia), the former president’s political stronghold. The clashes took place throughout the day between thousands of protesters and the police.

Evo Morales is a Bolivian politician and former cocalero activist who served as the 80th President of Bolivia from 2006 to 2019. On November 10, 2019, he resigned amidst significant unrest in the wake of a report by the Organization of American States alleging his government had rigged the year’s elections.

The images of the bodies began to be shared on social networks. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) confirmed the five deaths and indicated that at least 22 people were injured as well as three journalists who were injured while in the line of duty.

In a statement, the IACHR denounced “the excessive use of force by the police and military” to suppress demonstrations. The protesters had guns and appeared with explosive devices, said Cochabamba Police Commander Colonel Jaime Zurita, who said a hundred arrests had been made. Morales supporters also demonstrated in La Paz.

In an interview released on Friday by the Associated Press, former Bolivian President Evo Morales said he wants the UN to mediate the political crisis in the country and admitted calling for intervention by the Catholic Church and Pope Francis. Morales said he was ousted from office by a coup that forced him into exile in Mexico.

In Mexico City, Morales argued that he is Bolivia’s president, as parliament has not yet accepted his resignation. His resignation was presented on Sunday at the request of military leaders, after weeks of protests against his reelection that the opposition dubbed fraudulent. Morales’ resignation came after protests across the country over suspected electoral fraud in the October 20 election, in which the then ruler claimed to have won a fourth term. An audit that was carried out by the Organization of American States found widespread irregularities in the scrutiny.

Jeanine Áñez is a Bolivian politician and lawyer who has served as a senator for Beni since 2010. In November 2019, following the resignation of Evo Morales, Áñez declared herself interim president.

Meanwhile, Bolivia’s interim president, Jeanine Áñez, In an interview with the BBC, has said that Morales is free to return to Bolivia but would be subjected to the rule of law. She accuses him of being responsible for the sham elections as well as corruption. Áñez also adds that Morales “cowardly” left Bolivia.

On her third day at the Quemado Palace, the headquarters of the Bolivian government, Áñez has already changed the entire high command of the country’s military, sworn in ministers and announced her government’s priorities: to replace the electoral authorities and hand over power to a new president after “fair and transparent elections.” She has however insisted that Morales won’t be allowed to run in the new elections.

From Mexico, Evo Morales described her as a “self-proclaimed president,” and accused her of consummating a coup against him. Morales was about to complete 14 years in power.

Áñez countered by saying that Morales is really responsible for the crisis that triggered his resignation after the “fraudulent” elections of October 20. Second vice president of the Senate, Áñez took office interimly with the duty to call new elections after the resignation of Morales.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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