BOLIVIA: MORE OF THE SAME, DIFFERENT LEADER


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As reported in last week’s Trends Journal, millions of Bolivians were infuriated after President Evo Morales initiated a blackout of the vote count in a very close election and then claimed victory.  

Last Thursday, a sizeable part of the country was slowed down by large demonstrations, including strikes and blockades.  

A letter addressed to President Morales and military leaders was released by almost 3,000 officers from the Bolivian Army, Air Force, and Navy asserting that they will “never take up arms against the people.”

The letter referenced the country’s constitutional referendum putting limits on how many terms a president can serve, which Morales had Bolivia’s highest court overturn.  Morales is now serving his fourth consecutive term.

The political controversy heated up last Sunday when Mesa said, “We believe… that the best solution to this crisis in the current circumstances is a new election, administered by an impartial new [electoral body] and with rigorous observation of the international community.”

Doubling down on the effort to challenge, Luis Fernando Camacho, the leader of an opposition party made an overt threat to Morales: “He has 48 hours to step down, because at 7pm on Monday, we are going to take decisive action right here and we are going to make sure that he goes.”

Morales, accusing them of seeking bloodshed, said, “They want people to be killed by the police and the military,” while his Interior Minister alleged a “coup strategy” was under way.

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