In Bolivia, the conflict is escalating between supporters of exiled former President Evo Morales and the interim government of Jeanine Áñez. She threatened leftist Morales on Friday in case of a return with legal consequences. Morales is in Bolivia because of the irregularities in the presidential elections on 20 October and "numerous allegations of corruption" in court answer, said Áñez in the capital La Paz. Morales had announced on Wednesday to want to return to Bolivia to his country " pacify".
Morales had resigned after weeks of protests following the controversial presidential election and then went to exile in Mexico. Since then, supporters of the ex-president have protested against the ousting of Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia.
In violent clashes at Cochabamba in central Bolivia - a stronghold of Morales' - five supporters of the ex-president were killed on Friday. A journalist from the AFP news agency saw the bodies in a hospital in the city. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) confirmed the five deaths and several casualties. The dead are therefore coca growers.
The authorities said around a hundred people had been arrested during the clashes. Dead were not officially reported. Local media reported at least eight casualties.
According to police, the demonstrators were armed with "weapons, rifles, Molotov cocktails, self-made bazookas and explosives". "They used dynamite and lethal weapons like the Mauser 765," a police representative said. "Neither the army nor the police have such caliber, I'm worried." However, the CIDH Human Rights Commission condemned the "disproportionate use of force by police and army" against the demonstrators.
Dico Solis / AP / dpa
Supporters of ex-president Morales: Clashes with the security forces
In La Paz again Morales supporters went on the road. There were also clashes there. Police and army drove the demonstrators with tear gas, AFP journalists reported. Previously, in nearby El Alto several thousand people, including mainly indigenous people, headed for La Paz. They chanted "Evo, come back!" and waved the flag of the indigenous people.
Rigorous course of transitional government
Although Áñez's government is only temporarily in office, she was relentless in dealing with Morales' left-wing allies. Thus, Áñez began to cut ties with socialist Cuba and Venezuela.
As the first foreign policy act, she recognized the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela, following the example of around 50 countries. Foreign Minister Karen Longaric announced on Friday that all Venezuelan diplomats would be expelled for "violating diplomatic standards". She referred to an "interference in internal affairs" by the diplomats representing the Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro.
The transitional government also withdrew from the regional alliances Unasur and Alba, which consist of left-wing allies.
Meanwhile, Áñez has been criticized for alleged Twitter messages against the indigenous community. The tweets have since been deleted. Áñez accused the Morales government of faking Twitter accounts.
- A short portrait of Interim President Añez can be found here: The opposite of Morales
Senator Jeanine Añez declared herself Interim President of the South American country last Tuesday. "I will take all necessary measures to pacify the country," she said. Previously, two attempts by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies failed to establish a quorum because not enough parliamentarians were present.