The Ministry of the Interior announced on Wednesday, October 30, that two people have died in Montero due to anti-government protests. Both victims were shot dead by bullets. Another six people have also been reported injured. Montero, which is near Santa Cruz, is known to be an opposition stronghold.
Government officials have indicated that the situations in and around Santa Cruz and in Cochabamba are concerning.
Some indicate that protests take place on a daily basis, signaling business disruptions in La Paz and other urban centers. Protests are therefore to be expected in the coming several days. A heightened security presence is also to be expected in city centers and in the vicinity of any protests.
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Bolivia (TSE) halted its provisionary vote count on October 20 after 83 percent of the ballot was completed. Initial results indicated that President Evo Morales was short of securing the 10-percentage point lead needed to prevent a runoff election. However, on October 21, the TSE updated the count, indicating that President Evo Morales secured 47.08 percent of the vote against his primary rival Carlos Mesa, who received 35.51 percent, preventing a runoff. Political opposition supporters are accusing the TSE of manipulating the vote in favor of Morales. The protests have already left 30 injured in the violence and constant clashes with police.
Individuals in La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business in demonstration- and strike-affected areas, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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