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Riots in Bolivia after the arrest of the most prominent opposition leader against the Government of Luis Arce


The opposition Luis Fernando Camacho, governor of Santa Cruz, is accused of leading an alleged "coup" in 2019, which led to the departure of then-President Evo Morales while seeking a fourth consecutive term.

By Carlos Valdez -

The Associated Press

The arrest in Bolivia of the governor of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camacho, the main opposition leader in the Andean country, unleashed a wave of riots on Wednesday night that ended in the burning of several government offices.

Camacho spent the night in a police cell in La Paz, the capital, to respond to charges of alleged terrorism in relation to the 2019 crisis that led to the departure of then-President Evo Morales, after pressure from a military junta that denounced fraud. In the elections.

Arrested the day before by the police in compliance with an order from the Prosecutor's Office, Camacho was taken to La Paz and awaits a hearing with a judge who could decide to send him to preventive detention or grant him house arrest.

Police officers in front of a burned government office as supporters of Luis Fernando Camacho, governor of the Santa Cruz region, protest in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on Wednesday, December 28, 2022. Ipa Ibáñez / AP

In his hearing before the prosecutor handling the case, Camacho remained silent but delivered a note through his defense in which he said that "my only fault is having defended democracy and having stopped fraud."

Meanwhile, the powerful Civic Committee of Santa Cruz - which leads the regional protests of the hard wing of the Bolivian right - announced a meeting at noon to define "a forceful response" to the Government, which it accuses of promoting "political persecution". , said its president Rómulo Calvo.

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Camacho is accused of alleged terrorism by members of the ruling Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), whose leader is Morales, who applauded his arrest and asked to "also prosecute the accomplices" of the governor.

Morales alleges that he was the victim of a right-wing coup after the 2019 elections in which he was seeking a fourth consecutive term and denounced as fraudulent by the observer mission of the Organization of American States (OAS).

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In little more than 20 days of protests, 37 people died in the streets at that time.

The opposition alleges that it was a constitutional succession after the resignation of Morales in the face of a popular rebellion against fraud.

Camacho led those street demonstrations.

For these events, former interim president Jeanine Áñez was sentenced to 10 years in prison and more than fifty opposition and military leaders are in jail and on trial for alleged conspiracy and terrorism.

Camacho also led a 37-day strike in Santa Cruz between October and November against the Government of Luis Arce —Morales's political heir— to demand that a population census be carried out in 2023 to ensure that his region wins more seats in the Legislative .

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2022-12-29

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