News Alerts

12 Nov 2019 | 04:57 AM UTC

Bolivia: Former President Morales accepts asylum in Mexico November 11 /update 28

Bolivia News Alert

Former President Evo Morales accepts asylum in Mexico on November 11; military deploys into La Paz and other cities to assist the police in maintaining order following significant violence

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/11/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/15/2019, 11:59 PM (America/La_Paz). COUNTRY/REGION Bolivia, La Paz

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Event

Former President Evo Morales announced on Monday, November 11, that he has accepted asylum in Mexico. In a social media post, Morales said that he will return to Bolivia with “more strength and energy.” According to Mexico’s foreign minister, Morales was flown out of Bolivia to Mexico on Monday evening (local time). 

The political situation in Bolivia remains tense and fluid on Monday night as demonstrators continue to rally in La Paz and other cities. Opposition Senator Jeanine Añez announced that she plans to become head of the Senate on Monday, but it is unclear who will be the next president. In La Paz, opposition supporters blocked roads, rallied in Murillo Square, and restricted access to the Palace of Government (Palacio Quemado). Violence and looting has been reported in the city, with reports of shops and properties being attacked by armed gangs. Thousands of Morales supporters rallied in El Alto earlier on Monday before marching towards La Paz. Clashes between rival political supporters and security forces are possible

Earlier on Monday, the police requested support from the Armed Forces to respond to the escalation of violence in La Paz. The commander of the Armed Forces, Williams Kaliman, announced that the military will carry out joint operations with the police to avoid further violence and acts of vandalism. According to police officials, the military will assist the police until “peace is guaranteed in Bolivia.”

Demonstrations are likely to continue over the coming hours and days in La Paz and throughout Bolivia. A heightened security presence is anticipated throughout the country. 

Context

Former President Morales resigned on Sunday, November 10, following weeks of protests organized by opposition political organizations. 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.

Advice

Individuals are advised to avoid traveling to La Paz until the situation normalizes.

Travelers in La Paz and across Bolivia are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations 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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