After the resignation of Evo Morales and new violence, Bolivia in uncertainty

In the aftermath of the looting, clashes and arson that rocked several neighborhoods of La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia was dipped, Monday, November 11, in uncertainty, without a leader after the resignation of President Evo Morales, and faced with new violence.

  • A presidential election before January 22

Jeanine Añez, vice-president of the Senate and member of the opposition party Unidad democratica, did not hide her emotion by calling for the end of the violence. LUISA GONZALEZ / REUTERS

The second vice-president of the Bolivian Senate, the opponent Jeanine Añez, appointed under the Constitution to succeed the post of head of state to Evo Morales after his resignation, announced the next convocation of a presidential election so that "January 22, we have an elected president". "We will call elections with qualified people who will conduct the electoral process to reflect what all Bolivians want"she said when she arrived in Parliament.

The successors provided for by the Constitution in the event of the departure of the President have indeed resigned with him: Vice-President Alvaro Garcia, the President and Vice-President of the Senate and the President of the Chamber of Deputies.

The 52-year-old Senator, a member of the opposition party Unidad Democratica, did not hide her emotion by calling for an end to the violence: "You will excuse me, but I am moved (…). I ask you, for God's sake, to put an end to this violence. We only want democracy, we only want freedom. "

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Supporters of Evo Morales clash with the police.
Supporters of Evo Morales clash with the police. Juan Karita / AP

At the edge of the presidential palace, in the center of the capital, streets were still blocked by barricades placed by opposition supporters, mostly young people and many women.

Since midday, the police were gradually redeployed, using tear gas in El Alto, a town near the capital and Evo Morales stronghold, to disperse groups of hooded demonstrators armed with sticks. Clashes continued in the afternoon in this city.

"We cut the snake's head (Morales), but the body keeps moving", throws a policeman to reporters. Face covered with a hood, he announces that the police "Will arrest those responsible for the violence".

Read also Bolivia: Four things to know about Evo Morales, resigning president after thirteen years in power

After a day of Sunday rich in twists and a night of violence, residents of La Paz do not hide their concerns. The night was short for the inhabitants of the capital, who discovered on waking the extent of nocturnal damage.

In the wake of the announcement of the resignation of the Socialist President, in power since 2006, the streets of the city, headquarters of administrative and political powers, were delivered to groups of thugs. More police, who had declared mutiny against Evo Morales and remained locked in his barracks, and more army, which had just released the head of state.

In El Alto, many buses were burned, as well as the homes of several personalities. The carcasses of the burnt vehicles were transferred to a maintenance center, Agence France-Presse reported.

The head of a citizens 'collective, Waldo Albarracin, who worked for Morales' resignation, said his house had been burned and destroyed by " a crowd " members of the Movement to Socialism (MAS), the party of the resigning president. Mr. Albarracin, rector of the State University of La Paz, broadcast on his Twitter account a video of his burning residence.

Television Universitaria presenter Casimira Lema also said that her house was burned down. Several businesses were also targeted and looted at night. Tags against President Morales, such as "Evo without people" or "Evo dictator", have appeared on walls.

In the aftermath of this night of violence, public transport is very limited. The 10 lines of the cable car that crisscross the city were interrupted due to lack of sufficient guarantees for the facilities, the company said in a statement.

Near the ATM of a bank, a group of people anxiously wait to withdraw money. "Everything is increasing, prices (food) have been multiplied by three"Esperanza, a 56-year-old economist, is waiting for her turn.

Clashes between supporters of Mr. Morales and police in La Paz.
Clashes between supporters of Mr. Morales and police in La Paz. CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS / REUTERS

Donald Trump, US President, welcomed the forced resignation of Morales, seeing it "A strong signal" for what he considers to be "Illegitimate schemes" in Latin America and welcoming the decision of the army to release the socialist leader. «The United States greets the Bolivian people for asking for freedom and the Bolivian army for having respected its oath to protect not a single individual, but the Constitution of Bolivia»said Mr. Trump. Washington has also denounced the occupation of the Venezuelan Embassy in Bolivia by opponents of Mr. Morales, loyal ally of Caracas, demanding respect for Venezuelan sovereignty.

For its part, Mexico has decided to grant political asylum to Mr. Morales, saying thatlife and physical integrity are threatened. " The head of the Mexican diplomacy, Marcelo Ebrard, said that his government had been asked by Mr. Morales himself. "He asked us verbally and formally to grant him political asylum in our country", he said. Traditional allies of the former socialist head of state, the Cuban and Venezuelan governments also condemned " a coup " in Bolivia.


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