Protests in Bolivia (2019)

Article

July 3, 2022

Protests in Bolivia in 2019 - anti-government protests and marches from October 21, 2019 until the end of November of that year in Bolivia. The protesters accused the authorities of violations in the general elections, which were won by the incumbent President Evo Morales. Under pressure from the military, Morales canceled the election results and left the country.

Background

In 2005, Carlos Mesa, the President of Bolivia, resigned. His successor was the Indian Evo Morales, who ruled the country for 14 years. Morales carried out a series of reforms that reduced the poverty rate (from 60% of the country's population in 2006 to 35% of the country's population in 2018). At the same time, Morales underfunded the Bolivian army - in 2018, military spending accounted for only 3.8% of Bolivia's government spending. Under Morales, military salaries were low. On October 20, 2019, another general election was held in Bolivia. After their completion, the preliminary vote count was suspended. Some time later, it was announced that the current head of state, Evo Morales, was in the lead by a fairly large margin (10%). This allowed him to avoid re-voting. International observers expressed concern about the gap in reporting results - after a pause in the count, there was a surge in votes cast for Morales. Morales denied the accusations and invited international organizations to audit the electoral processes, promising to hold an additional round if any fraud is found. The runner-up candidate, Carlos Mesa, called for the protests to continue until a runoff was held, saying he would provide evidence that fraud had occurred. Opposition leaders refused any talks with Morales.

Chronology of protest

October 21

Protesters began to gather at the gates of the computer centers of election commissions in several departments of the country. Bolivian Police Commander Vladimir Calderon said they were prepared for any event that could change public order in the country after some leaders called for civil resistance. On the morning of October 21, in the residential areas of Sopokachi and Miraflores in La Paz,