Multiple protest leaders have called for demonstrations to continue in La Paz over the coming days to demand the resignation of President Evo Morales. On Tuesday, November 5, the leader of the Civic Council of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camacho flew to La Paz to lead a march to the government palace, but he was detained at El Alto Airport (LPB). He was flown back to Santa Cruz after several hours while crowds of pro-Morales supporters blocked roads leading to LPB. However, Camacho announced he would attempt to reach the government palace again on Wednesday, November 6, and vowed to continue to do so every day until he is allowed into the building. Similar disruptions are likely at LPB on Wednesday and access to the airport may be blocked. The leader of the Potosí Civic Committee (Comcipo), Marco Pumari, also called for demonstrators from the department to rally in La Paz to increased pressure on Morales.
A nationwide general strike also came into effect on Tuesday, which the government warned will negatively affect the people. Camacho called for supporters to peacefully occupy government institutions and block the borders to prevent the government from collecting taxes. According to the minister of economy, the payments of some social benefits were disrupted on Tuesday after multiple state bank branches were forced to close due to the protesters. Further disruptions to government services and other businesses are possible in the coming days.
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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