A national strike as well as demonstrations by both government and opposition supporters are expected to take place on Wednesday, October 10, the anniversary of the country’s return to democratic rule (Día de la Democracia). Pro-government demonstrations are expected in all departmental capitals, as well as in other towns. Anti-government protests are currently scheduled to take place in: La Paz’s Plaza San Francisco from 18:00 (local time); Santa Cruz, where demonstrators will march from Plaza del Cristo to Plaza 24 de Septiembre; and in Cochabamba at Plaza de las Banderas. Clashes between rival protesters as well as between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Sociopolitical tensions have been high in recent years in large part due to President Evo Morales’s plans to run for a fourth consecutive term in 2019 despite constitutional term limits. Anti-government sentiments have been rekindled in the wake of an October ruling by the International Court of Justice, which decided that Chile had no obligation to negotiate with Bolivia regarding a long-standing territorial dispute.
Bolivian civic groups and unions frequently erect roadblocks as a form of protest. The country's mountainous terrain means that few roads exist to connect major cities and therefore roadblocks serve as especially effective bargaining tools in negotiations. Violence at roadblocks is not rare.
Individuals present in Bolivia are advised to keep abreast of the situation, avoid all protests, and never attempt to cross a roadblock without authorization.
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