News

The exit of a convoy from the Senkata hydrocarbons plant (Bolivia) leaves at least six dead

YPFB plant in Senkata, Bolivia. – REUTERS / GASTON BRITO – Archive

EL ALTO, Nov. 20 (EUROPE PRESS) –

At least six people have died and more than thirty have been injured on Tuesday in Bolivia during a police and military operation, whose objective was to facilitate the exit of 40 tank trucks from the Senkata hydrocarbons plant, in El Alto, a town near La Paz .

The exit of a convoy from the Senkata hydrocarbons plant (Bolivia) leaves at least six dead
The exit of a convoy from the Senkata hydrocarbons plant (Bolivia) leaves at least six dead

The place was blocked for days by followers of former president Evo Morales, exiled in Mexico, who demand the immediate resignation of Jeanine Áñez, proclaimed interim president on November 12.

According to medical sources, the last mortal victim is Clemente Mamani, a 24-year-old boy who died at approximately 23:00 on Tuesday at the Heart of Jesus Hospital. “Unfortunately the patient has passed away and that information has already been communicated to the family,” explained doctor Jorge Jiris.

Mamani thus joins the other five dead who died in the framework of the operation of the Police and the Army, who sought to transfer the fuel to La Paz.

The Minister of Defense of Áñez, Fernando López, has assured that the Armed Forces (FFAA) “has not left a single shot” in Senkata and has urged to wait for the pertinent reports to be made to establish the causes of the deaths .

“Hordes in an inconvenient state decided to enter the Senkata plant with dynamite puppies, decided to turn walls with dynamite puppies, burn vehicles and steal gas bottles,” he warned, as reported by the local newspaper 'La Razón'.

“We believe that what is moving these people is a mere vandalism,” he denounced before assuring that “(the mobilized) are receiving orders, money, alcohol and coca to cause vandalism, to cause terror and panic.

However, some of the protesters present there have denounced the excessive use of violence by Bolivian security forces. “Here they have come directly to the bullet. This can't stay that way. Are we dogs? Are we animals? We have rights,” said Jorge Quispe, one of the people present in the blockade.

The blockade of the Fiscal Oilfield (YPFB) plant in Senkata had caused fuel shortages in both El Alto and La Paz. 80 percent of public transport was not working, according to local union data, in a city where fruits, vegetables and meat products, such as chicken, are also in short supply.

At mid-morning on Tuesday, police and military groups arrived at the plant, where more soldiers were entrenched, and led to the departure of about 40 tank trucks bound for the town of La Paz. Along the way they made use of tear gas.

When the convoy left the area, protesters have returned to Senkata, knocking down several walls of the plant with explosives, and generating new clashes with police and military.

On the other hand, some of the injured are serious and need surgery. They have been taken to hospitals in the area, among shouts of protesters.

The place was, first thing in the afternoon, a powder magazine. About 200 meters from the plant there were still clashes between protesters and law enforcement.

To get to the place you had to pass several barricades, arranged by the neighbors with burnt rubber, and large stones. Some of the military and police could not return to the same place they had arrived, due to these blockades.

It was possible to observe how the ditches dug days before by the related ones to Morales to avoid the passage of vehicles had been filled of earth by the authorities to allow the passage of the convoy of tanks trucks. The fires were constant and the smell of smoke mixed with that of tear gas. In most of the blockades there were neighbors trying to organize.

“We were here peacefully taking care of our site. But the police arrived first and then the military, and they threw gas and bullets at us directly. They had no compassion. They threw children and grandparents,” said Jorge Tancara, one of Morales's followers It keeps the lock.

“We ask for justice. We are not fighting for politicians. We simply want our lithium. For our children. And they are killing us like dogs. Like animals or worse. Añez said that there shouldn't have been dead here, but now they are killing the people from El Alto, “added Tancara.

The protesters resumed the blockade of the main road to Senkata and other secondary streets after, in the middle of the afternoon, the bulk of the officers left.

Not far from there a group of people set fire to the house of Soledad Chapetón, mayor of El Alto, opposed to the Movement to Socialism (MAS) of Evo Morales. The Government of Áñez had said that he was willing to exhaust the dialogue before attempting to enter the plant by force.

RISK OF IMPUNITY

For its part, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has warned of the risk of impunity in Bolivia.

“Since the departure of former President Evo Morales, the strong repressive response, by the security forces, with the use of firearms, has generated an increase in the number of people killed and injured,” the organization said in a release.

“Of particular concern to the Commission is the fact that combined operations of the National Police and the Armed Forces are being carried out for the control of public order, without adequate legal support,” said the IACHR.

The Minister of Defense of Áñez, Fernando López, has indicated that the Army did not fire any bullet. “Three people died, but not a single projectile came out of the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces have the priority of engaging in dialogue with the Bolivian brothers who are receiving orders, money, alcohol and coca to cause fear, panic, just with that goal.

The encirclement of Senkata is part of the protests that erupted after the October 20 presidential elections. Morales proclaimed his victory but the opposition denounced a “gigantic fraud” and the audit conducted by the Organization of American States (OAS) confirmed “irregularities.”

In this context, Morales resigned and fled to Mexico, where he is a political asylee. However, he declares himself a victim of a “coup d'etat” and neither he nor his followers recognize Áñez as acting president, so the riots have continued. More than 23 people have died.

Luis Fernando Camacho, the main opposition leader, asked Áñez to call early elections on January 19.

https://img.europapress.es/fotoweb/fotonoticia_20191120044546-1911870809_640.jpg

A cyclist stands near to a blocked petrol plant of Senkata in El Alto outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia – REUTERS / David Mercado

https://img.europapress.es/fotoweb/fotonoticia_20191120044546-1911870799_640.jpg

A cyclist stands near to a blocked petrol plant of Senkata in El Alto outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia – REUTERS / David Mercado

https://img.europapress.es/fotoweb/fotonoticia_20191120044546-1911870789_640.jpg

A man shows bullet shells after clashes near to a blocked petrol plant of Senkata in El Alto outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia – REUTERS / David Mercado

https://img.europapress.es/fotoweb/fotonoticia_20191120044546-1911870779_640.jpg

Demonstrators take part in a protest in Senkata, El Alto – REUTERS / David Mercado

https://img.europapress.es/fotoweb/fotonoticia_20191120044546-1911870769_640.jpg

Pedestrians stand next to a blocked petrol plant of Senkata in El Alto outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia – REUTERS / David Mercado

Similar Posts