Protests in La Paz against the re-election of the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales. – REUTERS / STRINGER.
Bolivian Police troops have mutinied in several Bolivian capitals
The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, warned this Friday that “democracy is at risk” because of a “coup d'etat” that, he has denounced, “violent groups” have started after the country's police They have mutinied in several capitals.
“Sisters and brothers, our democracy is at risk due to the coup d'etat that violent groups have launched that undermine the constitutional order,” Morales said in his Twitter account. “We denounce this international attempt against the rule of law,” he added.
In addition, he has urged the Bolivian people to “peacefully take care of democracy” to “preserve peace and life as supreme goods above any political interest.” “The unity of the people will be the guarantee for the welfare of the country and social peace,” Morales has settled.
Police from Bolivia have mutinied this Friday in the cities of Cochabamba, Sucre, Tarija and Santa Cruz to protest against the Morales Government and avoid further clashes in the country in the context of the protests that occur against the re-election of Morales.
The police riot has begun in Cochabamba, in the Tactical Unit of Police Operations and, subsequently, has been extended to other units, according to the newspaper 'La Razón Digital'. The decision of the security forces has been received with joy by hundreds of protesters demanding the resignation of Morales.
Later it has been replicated in Sucre, where 'La Razón' has found that some 700 troops had concentrated. According to the newspaper, one of the policemen who has headed the measure has stated that the goal is to “avoid more confrontations in the country.”
As for Tarija, several policemen have bet waving Bolivian flags. In Santa Cruz, another group of mutinous police officers have spread a sign in which he can read 'Police mutiny' at the top of the city's Departmental Command building.
In addition, citizen pressure for police officers to join the riot is increasing in other areas, such as in La Paz, Trinidad or Riberalta.
In this context, the country's Minister of Defense, Javier Zavaleta, said Friday that the Armed Forces are not quartered and will not be deployed, so he has insisted on the tranquility of the population, according to 'The Digital Reason'.
“I want to make it clear that President Evo Morales and our Government have given a strict order to the Armed Forces that under no circumstances will there be a quartering, nor any operation on streets in any city,” Zavaleta said. “Therefore, the situation of the Armed Forces in the nine departments and the whole country is normal,” he continued.
“They know that the Armed Forces is a security institution that uses firearms, so a military operation at the moment is for the use of firearms, and no order has been given for that,” he insisted. “No military operation is going to be done at the moment, that is totally ruled out,” Zavaleta has settled.
He has also reported that the Government expects the mutineers to reflect and continue with their institutional work.
“We trust that at this time, the Police Commander (Yuri Calderón) can make the police think that for some reason they have mutinied and we are sure that the Police will continue to carry out their constitutional work, which is to protect the citizenship, “he added.
“SQUARE AND NOT RUSHED”
For its part, the General Command of the Bolivian Police has clarified that the police are “quartered and not mutiny.”
“It is clarified to civil society that police officers are quartered and not mutinous as indicated by some media outlets,” according to a police statement collected by the Bolivian news agency, ABI.
The communiqué also ensures that the Police, “in compliance with the Political Constitution of the State, will fulfill its mission of maintaining order and social peace throughout the national territory.”
The general commander of the Police, Yuri Calderón, has also argued that the situation registered in Cochabamba is an “isolated issue” that is explained by the relief on Friday of Cochabamba commander Raúl Grandy, which Jaime Edwin Zurita has replaced.
Regarding the rest of the areas where there have been incidents with the Police, Calderón has assured that there is no police “riot”.
The protests in Bolivia broke out the same night of the presidential elections held on October 20 due to the sudden suspension of the transmission of official results just when they forced a second round between Morales and the main opposition leader, Carlos Mesa.
When he resumed, almost 24 hours later, they granted Morales the first round victory, so Mesa has denounced a “gigantic fraud.” Both called for the mobilization of their own, which has resulted in riots. At least two people have died and more than 190 have been arrested in these two weeks.
In this context, Morales has agreed that the OAS, supported by countries such as Spain, Mexico or Peru, conduct a binding electoral audit. Mesa, on the other hand, does not accept it because it says it is the result of a unilateral agreement between the Government and the hemispheric bloc without regard to the opposition.