The Yungas Coca Growers Union announced on Thursday, September 6, that it is planning to blockade a road to close access into La Paz on Monday, September 10, beginning at 00:01 (local time). The group is protesting the government's efforts to eradicate coca and is calling for the release of their leader, Franklin Gutiérrez. Details regarding the locations of the blockade have not been reported as of the evening of Friday, September 7. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near any demonstration sites.
A related demonstration was held on September 3 to protest government accusations that the group's leader, Franklin Gutiérrez, has advocated for violence against the police forces. Violent clashes between coca growers and police officers broke out in La Asunta on August 24, resulting in the death of one police officer. On August 29, two farmers were killed by security forces in the same area. The police claimed the shooting was in self-defense, but locals accused the officers of murdering the farmers.
Individuals in La Paz are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of violence, allow for extra time to reach their destinations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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