UN denounces "disproportionate" use of force by police and military in Bolivia

The High Commissioner for Human Rights asked the authorities to report the number of people arrested, injured and killed during the demonstrations.

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A supporter of Evo Morales in front of soldiers deployed in La Paz, the capital of the country, on November 15. RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet denounced Saturday, November 16 "The unnecessary and disproportionate use of force by the police and the army" in Bolivia. She warns of the risk of seeing the situation "Degenerate".

Mme Bachelet recalled that 17 people had been killed since the beginning of the protest movement that is shaking the country, including 14 since the flight of former President Evo Morales to Mexico six days ago.

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"The first deaths were mainly due to violent clashes between rival protesters, but the most recent ones seem to be the result of unnecessary and disproportionate use of force by the police and the army", she said.

"It's an extremely dangerous development because, far from appeasing the violence, it could make it even worse"she continued. And the latter to call the authorities to handle the situation "With sensitivity and in accordance with international standards (…), and with full respect for human rights".

"Mass arrests and detentions"

Five peasants in favor of Evo Morales were killed Friday in the suburbs of Cochabamba (center). In this political stronghold of the former president, clashes were held throughout the day by thousands of protesters to the police who prevented them from going to the city center.

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) confirmed these deaths and denounced "The disproportionate use of the police and military force"including firearms to suppress demonstrations.

Mme Bachelet also denounced "Massive arrests and detentions", saying that more than 600 people have been detained since 21 October, "Many of which in the last days". She urged the Bolivian authorities to communicate the number of people arrested, injured and killed during the demonstrations, and demanded a "Prompt, impartial, transparent investigation" and complete on these events.

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