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25 Nov 2019 | 11:31 AM UTC

Bolivia: Interim president agrees to withdraw military from protest areas November 24 /update 38

Bolivia’s interim president agrees to withdraw military from protest areas November 24; further protests possible over near term

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Event

On Sunday, November 24, Bolivia's Interim President Jeanine Áñez struck a deal with protest leaders agreeing to withdraw the military from protest areas and repeal a law allowing the military to use its own discretion regarding the use of force. In return, dozens of protest leaders agreed to call for their followers to end demonstrations. This decision follows an agreement between Interim President Áñez's government and former President Evo Morales's Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party made on Saturday, November 23, to hold new general elections sometime in 2020.

Further protests are possible throughout Bolivia, particularly in La Paz and El Alto, over the near term. A heightened security presence is anticipated around all demonstrations. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.

Context

Former President Morales resigned on November 10 following weeks of protests organized by opposition political organizations. The TSE was accused of manipulating the results of the October 20 election in favor of Morales to prevent a runoff, sparking an escalation in demonstrations nationwide. More than 30 people have been killed in clashes with security forces or between rival political supporters.

The US Department of State asked family members of government employees to leave Bolivia on November 12 due to ongoing political uncertainty and sociopolitical tensions in the country. It also warned American citizens against traveling to Bolivia and said the US government had limited ability to provide emergency services.

Advice

Individuals are advised to avoid traveling to Bolivia, particularly to La Paz, until the situation normalizes.

Travelers in La Paz and across Bolivia are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business in demonstration- and strike-affected areas, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.