Luis Fernando Camacho, the leader of the political opposition Civic Council of Santa Cruz, announced during a rally in Santa Cruz on Monday, November 4, that he will march to La Paz to demand the resignation of President Evo Morales. Camacho held a public address on Monday night (local time) after a 48-hour ultimatum for Morales to step down expired. During his speech, Camacho announced that he would march to La Paz on Tuesday, November 5, with a resignation letter for President Morales to sign. Camacho also called for a nationwide civic strike to begin at 00:01 on Tuesday, including an economic blockade targeting government buildings and on the borders. However, he asked that international airports, basic services, and emergency medical services remain unaffected.
Further protests are expected in Santa Cruz, La Paz, and other major urban areas across Bolivia in the coming hours and days. It is unclear if the nationwide strike will be observed on Tuesday, but significant disruptions to government services and businesses are possible. A heightened security presence and associated disruptions are anticipated around all protest sites. Violence between demonstrators and security forces or rival political supporters may also occur.
Tensions have been high in the country since 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 Bolivia more generally, 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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