Latin American Weekly Report

13/08/2020 - Bolivia approaches tipping point

Bolivia’s acute political and social volatility was thrown into sharp relief this week by a standoff between the interim government led by Jeanine Áñez and protesters supportive of former president Evo Morales (2006-2019). Scores of roadblocks were erected across the country on 3 August in response to the decision to postpone general elections yet again. Áñez insists the delay is necessary because of the rampant spread of coronavirus (Covid-19); the protesters, led by the main workers’ union Central Obrera Boliviana (COB), have a deep-rooted suspicion that Áñez is intent on clinging on to power indefinitely and could use further surges in infections to continue delaying elections. Both sides traded accusations over the mounting death toll. International actors urged dialogue to try and arrest a slide towards violent confrontation.

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