Rising Death Toll in Bolivia, as Army Confronts Morales Supporters Blocking Highways
Nov. 20, 2019 (EIRNS)—Since Nov. 10, the death toll in Bolivia has risen to 29 people, as the Army and security forces open fire on supporters of deposed President Evo Morales, who are blocking entrances to several cities around the country, to prevent their being supplied with gasoline and food. Indigenous groups, coca-producers and other supporters of Morales’s MAS party, do not recognize the illegitimate “President” Jeanine Áñez and warn they will continue this action until Evo Morales returns to Bolivia.
In some cities, including the capital of La Paz, shortages of food and gasoline have become acute. Yesterday, at least 5 protesters were killed and 30 wounded as they sought to prevent tanker trucks from leaving the Senkata refinery near La Paz, to transport gasoline to the capital. Videos of yesterday’s confrontation that went viral show the military firing directly on protesters, aiming for their heads, Página 12 reported.
The Inter-American Human Rights Commission, plus the local Ombudsman for human rights blame Áñez’s Nov. 15 decree exempting military and police personnel from criminal prosecution if they are “preserving public order,” for yesterday’s killings. The UN Human Rights Commissioner for Human Rights, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, is reportedly also sending an investigative delegation to the country. The University of Chile’s radio station reports that similar incidents are occurring elsewhere in the country. Bolivian daily La Razón reported today that Áñez has just signed a degree allocating $5 million to the Armed Forces for the purchase of new weapons.