News Alerts

19 Nov 2019 | 08:29 PM UTC

Bolivia: Clashes reported in El Alto November 19 /update 35

Bolivia News Alert

Clashes reported in El Alto on November 19 amid security operation; further unrest expected over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/19/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/23/2019, 11:59 PM (America/La_Paz). COUNTRY/REGION Bolivia, La Paz, El Alto

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Event

At least one person was killed and eight others wounded after clashes erupted between protesters and security forces in El Alto on Tuesday, November 19. Police and military forces deployed to Bolivia's second-largest city on Tuesday to unblock access to the Senkata gas plant. Supporters of former President Evo Morales had obstructed access to the plant with burning tires, consequently disrupting fuel supply to La Paz.

Protests led by indigenous groups are expected to continue on a daily basis throughout Bolivia. A heightened security presence is to be expected over the next several days.

Context

On November 14, interim president, Jeanine Áñez, reportedly reached an agreement with lawmakers to hold new presidential elections. A specific date for the vote has not been announced, but under the constitution the interim president has 90 days to hold an election.

The US Department of State asked family members of government employees to leave Bolivia on November 12 due to the ongoing uncertainty. It also warned American citizens against traveling to Bolivia and said the US government had limited ability to provide emergency services.

Former President Morales resigned on 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 Bolivia, particularly 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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