CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, a tool designed to help decision-makers prevent deadly violence by keeping them up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace.

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January 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Amid ongoing protests against arrest of right-wing opposition leader and Santa Cruz Governor Luis Fernando Camacho, opposition-led “national assemblies” took place across country.

Santa Cruz unrest continued, protesters launched opposition assemblies. Following arrest of Luis Fernando Camacho late Dec, protests persisted in Santa Cruz province during Jan amid clashes between police and protesters; Civic Committee of Santa Cruz president, Rómulo Calvo, 1 Jan stated that blockades around Santa Cruz would remain in place to deny province’s resources to capital La Paz. Yet as concerns grew over economic impact of blockades, Civic Committee 16 Jan announced opposition-led “national assemblies” would take place 25 Jan in all regional capitals to discuss “new measures” to demand Camacho’s release. Ahead of assemblies, protesters 18 Jan lifted blockades. Judge 19 Jan ruled Camacho must remain in detention while awaiting trial. Thousands 25 Jan attended Santa Cruz “national assembly”, which pressed for Camacho’s release via proposed Amnesty Law and called on all opposition forces to form political party to oppose ruling Movement for Socialism party in 2025 elections. Minister of Government Eduardo del Castillo 26 Jan dismissed “national assembly” resolutions as Santa Cruz citizens’ “new coup adventure”, Minister of Justice Iván Lima same day called them “unconstitutional”.

Govt and protesters faced criticism for violence. Ombudsman’s office 10 Jan reported 25 alleged human rights violations since protests began late Dec, and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and its Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression 17 Jan condemned “excessive use of force by the security forces and the acts of violence perpetrated by organised groups”.

December 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Protests broke out in Santa Cruz province following arrest of its governor, right-wing radical opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho.

Authorities detained opposition leader for role in 2019 political unrest. Police 28 Dec detained right-wing opposition leader and Governor of Santa Cruz department Luis Fernando Camacho on “terrorism” charges for alleged involvement in country’s disputed 2019 elections and subsequent political unrest. Court 29 Dec sentenced Camacho to four months of pre-trial detention, next day transferred him to Chonchocoro maximum security prison in El Alto city near capital La Paz.

Tensions flared, with violent protests late Dec erupting in Santa Cruz. Accusing authorities of “kidnapping” Camacho, his supporters immediately began protesting in Santa Cruz province. Protesters 28 Dec erected roadblocks, set fire to several buildings, including regional prosecutor’s office, and briefly paralysed Viru Viru airport in apparent attempt to halt Camacho’s transit to La Paz. Civic Committee of Santa Cruz – institution defending regional interests, opposed to govt in La Paz and previously led by Camacho – 29 Dec announced 24-hour strike on 30 Dec. During strike, protesters blocked highways and torched several vehicles and buildings while police responded with tear gas. As clashes continued on 31 Dec, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression at Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Pedro Vaca 31 Dec said reports of “severe attacks” by police were emerging, urged authorities to “guarantee freedom of assembly”.

March 2021

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Arrest of former Interim President Jeanine Áñez triggered mass protests. Police 13 March arrested Áñez, along with former cabinet ministers Rodrigo Guzmán and Álvaro Coimbra on charges of terrorism, sedition and conspiracy during 2019 political crisis, which led then-incumbent President Morales to resign and Áñez to declare herself interim president; authorities 11 March also issued arrests warrants for former general and ex-police chief who had both urged Morales to resign. Áñez 15 March transferred to prison for four-month pre-trial detention. Tens of thousands of Áñez supporters same day protested across country, including at least 40,000 in country’s largest city Santa Cruz. Organization of American States 15 March said “judicial mechanisms […] have been transformed into instruments of repression by the ruling party”. Thousands 18 March demonstrated in capital La Paz in support of govt and President Arce, asked for “justice” for what they consider “coup d’Etat” against Morales in 2019. Court 20 March extended Áñez’s pre-trial detention to six months. In letter posted on Twitter, Áñez 23 March accused police and govt of “abusive” actions, said she had been denied proper medical treatment while in detention.

October 2020

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

After tense electoral campaign, general elections – which returned Movement toward Socialism (MAS) to power – held largely peacefully 18 Oct. MAS, party of former President Evo Morales, retained majority in both houses of Congress, while Luis Arce, its presidential candidate, secured victory with 55% of vote. Peaceful voting preceded by hostile pre-elections climate. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights office in Bolivia 2 Oct recorded at least 30 acts of violence against MAS sympathisers, other opposition parties as well as journalists between 6 Sept and 2 Oct. In country’s largest city Santa Cruz, around 5,000 people 20 Oct protested against MAS victory, accused party of fraud. Right-wing Creemos party supporters same day set up vigils near electoral tribunal departmental centres in Santa Cruz, Cochabamba and Chuquisaca departments. Morales 29 Oct said he will return to Bolivia 11 Nov, after judge 26 Oct annulled arrest warrant against him for alleged sedition and terrorism. Outgoing parliament 29 Oct approved motion recommending that outgoing interim President Jeanine Áñez and 11 of her ministers face justice for responsibility in late 2019 violence, which left around 30 dead.

September 2020

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Risk of violent escalation around 18 Oct general elections rerun remained high amid govt crackdown on opposition. Court 7 Sept ruled exiled former President Morales ineligible to run for Senate in Oct. Govt 9 Sept asked International Criminal Court to launch investigation into alleged “crimes against humanity” by opposition supporters during Aug protests. NGO Human Rights Watch 11 Sept accused govt of “abusing the justice system” to pursue Morales’ supporters and denounced terrorism charges against former president as “politically motivated”. Interim President Jeanine Añez 18 Sept dropped out of presidential race, citing need to unite vote against Morales’ Movement for Socialism (MAS); move follows large-scale Jubileo Foundation poll 16 Sept which found 40.3% of Bolivians plan to vote for MAS presidential candidate Luis Arce. Meanwhile, several attacks targeted party supporters. Notably, unidentified assailants 17 Sept threw stones at right-wing Creemos party member in Oruro city; others 20 Sept pelted centrist Comunidad Ciudadana member with rocks in capital La Paz. Three top cabinet ministers 27 Sept resigned, reportedly because they oppose privatisation of regional electricity company in Cochabamba city.

August 2020

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Nationwide protests against third postponement of presidential election turned violent. Following late-July govt decision to delay polls for third time, indigenous and labour groups aligned with former President Morales’ Movement for Socialism (MAS) party and led by Bolivian Workers’ Centre (COB) union early Aug erected over 75 road blockades across Bolivia; authorities justified postponement from 6 Sept to 18 Oct by need to avoid Sept projected peak in COVID-19 infections. After talks between COB and electoral authorities broke down 9 Aug, clashes erupted between protesters and armed individuals on blockade sites in La Paz and Cochabamba cities 10-11 Aug, leaving dozens injured. Interim govt 11 Aug deployed military to protect oxygen transport into cities for COVID-19 patients. Morales, exiled in Argentina, next day called for dialogue and lifting of blockades; COB by 14 Aug dismantled majority of blockades but some indigenous groups continued to demand resignation of interim President Áñez. Áñez 13 Aug signed new electoral law, which sets election date to 18 Oct and rules out further postponements. Two trade union headquarters in La Paz, including that of COB, were attacked with explosives 14 Aug; govt 17 Aug announced arrest of six members of anti-Morales group Resistencia de los Pititas. Justice ministry 20 and 24 Aug filed two criminal complaints against Morales over alleged sexual relationships with two minors. Unidentified assailants 26 Aug broke into Bolivian Ombudsman’s office in alleged attempt to attack Ombudsperson Nadia Cruz; UN next day called on interim govt to protect institution.

July 2020

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Amid public discontent, presidential election delay sparked renewed mobilisation against govt. Thousands 14 July protested interim govt in capital La Paz, defying COVID-19 restrictions; demonstrators voiced grievances over mass layoffs and govt health and education policies. Supreme Electoral Tribunal 23 July postponed presidential election from 6 Sept to 18 Oct, citing virus-related health crisis; exiled opposition leader and former President Evo Morales same day accused govt of unconstitutional move to “gain more time”. Influential union Bolivian Workers’ Centre (COB) 28 July marched in second-largest city El Alto against election delay, accusing govt of using pandemic to extend its powers; COB next day declared indefinite general strike and countrywide mobilisation; COB 30 July met with electoral authorities.

April 2020

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Govt increasingly relied on security forces to enforce COVID-19 quarantine and political tensions continued between interim govt and Movement toward Socialism (MAS) party of former President Morales. Defence Minister Luis Fernando López 4 April announced wider use of military to control compliance with COVID-19 quarantine; Interim President Áñez 14 April extended quarantine until 30 April. After Áñez closed all borders in March in attempt to curb spread of virus, thousands of Bolivians remained stranded in border towns in Chile awaiting authorisation to enter Bolivia; military 8 April fired tear gas to repel at least 300 people trying to cross border near Chilean border village of Colchane. As police tried to return to their post in Chapare province (after having left area in late-2019 following confrontation with coca growers in aftermath of Morales’ resignation), residents in Shinahota town 16 April violently expelled them; interim govt next day accused Morales of masterminding attacks. Attorney General 15 April ordered preventive detention of MAS figure Faustino Yucra for alleged terrorism and sedition. Electoral tribunal 25 April asked Congress to choose date between 28 June and 27 September for general elections rerun.

March 2020

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Authorities postponed general elections rerun due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic, while political tensions continued between interim President Áñez and Movement toward Socialism (MAS) party of former President Morales. After Áñez 21 March declared 14-day quarantine until 4 April in attempt to contain spread of coronavirus, Supreme Electoral Tribunal suspended presidential and legislative elections, originally scheduled for 3 May. Interim govt 17 March closed borders to non-residents and suspended all international flights in attempt to curb COVID-19 spread. MAS-dominated Legislative Assembly6 March passed motion of no-confidence against Defence Minister Luis Fernando López after he repeatedly refused to appear before chamber as part of parliamentary investigation into late 2019 post-electoral violence. Áñez dismissed López 9 March but swore him in again next day; MAS accused Áñez of “stepping on constitution”. Attorney General 6 March widened investigation against Morales over alleged terrorism to include fourteen MAS leaders.

February 2020

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Political tensions continued ahead of 3 May general elections rerun. After former President Morales, in exile in Argentina, early Feb registered as Senate candidate, Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) 20 Feb barred him from running on grounds that he does not reside in country. Morales 21 Feb denounced U.S. interference and “blow to democracy”, said he would appeal to Constitutional Court and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). TSE 20 Feb approved presidential candidacy of Morales’ party Movement toward Socialism nominee Luis Arce. Interim President Áñez 21 Feb demanded IACHR remove two members of its Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts created in late 2019 to investigate recent violence and human rights violations, Juan Méndez and Patricia Tappatá Valdez, claiming they are sympathetic to Morales. Attorney General 19 Feb opened criminal proceedings against Morales for alleged electoral fraud during Oct 2019 presidential election. Judge 2 Feb ordered six-month pre-trial detention of Morales’ legal representative on terrorism charges.

January 2020

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Political tensions continued but unrest in streets appeared to subside as electoral court formally called for new elections. Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) early Jan set general election rerun for 3 May. Constitutional court 15 Jan approved extension of mandate of national and local authorities, including president, deputies and senators until inauguration of new govt. Former President Morales, leading Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party’s electoral campaign, 19 Jan named former economy minister Luis Arce as MAS presidential candidate, and former FM David Choquehuanca for VP, after TSE late Dec dismissed requests to stop MAS from participating in election. Indigenous activists expressed discontent, and demanded Choquehuanca leads ticket. Judicial authorities 20 Jan launched investigation against Arce and other MAS leaders for alleged corruption. Interim President Jeanine Áñez 24 Jan announced her candidacy in presidential election after having ruled out running, sparking criticism from allies and opponents; after asking all ministers to resign for “new stage of democratic transition”, Áñez 28 Jan unveiled new cabinet, replacing three ministers. Interim govt 17 Jan deployed army in several cities and regions known to be Morales’s strongholds ahead of planned protests by indigenous groups on occasion of Plurinational State Day 22 Jan, also day that should have seen new govt take office following last Oct general elections; indigenous groups protested against interim govt notably in El Alto city and Chapare province but no major clashes reported. U.S. 23 Jan said it would send ambassador to Bolivia for first time in a decade. Interim govt 24 Jan cut diplomatic relations with Cuba in response to Havana’s alleged “constant hostility”.  

December 2019

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Amid ongoing political tensions, interim govt made moves to prepare new general elections in agreement with Movement toward Socialism (MAS) party of former president Evo Morales, while unrest in streets fell dramatically; relations between Bolivia and Mexico soured. Morales 12 Dec obtained asylum in Argentina following month in Mexico where he fled after his 10 Nov resignation; same day announced he will lead MAS party’s electoral campaign, 29 Dec said after a meeting in Buenos Aires his party will name its presidential candidates for 2020 elections on 19 Jan; other Bolivia-based MAS factions dispute Morales’ leadership. Interim govt 18 Dec issued arrest warrant against Morales for crimes of “sedition, terrorism and terrorist financing”. National Assembly 18 Dec elected new six-members Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which by 7 Jan will set date for new elections, meant to occur within 120 days but likely to extend until May/June, necessitating extension of interim govt and National Assembly mandate. U.S. President Trump 17 Dec announced backing for interim President Jeanine Áñez and “peaceful democratic transition” and denounced ongoing violence. Interim govt and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 12 Dec created independent expert group to investigate clashes between police and protesters which left 36 dead and hundreds injured Oct and Nov. Interim govt 5 Dec passed decree to compensate families of those killed during anti-govt protests; 29 families rejected financial settlement, instead called for intervention of international tribunals in their case against govt. Diplomatic tensions between Mexico and Bolivia rose over Mexico’s granting of asylum in its diplomatic facilities in La Paz to nine people, including allies of Morales who Bolivia wants to try for sedition and armed revolt. Mexico says Bolivian authorities have harassed and intimidated its diplomatic staff, including an incident 27 Dec in which Spanish diplomats were also involved. Mexico’s FM 26 Dec announced country will file a complaint against the interim govt of Bolivia at the International Court of Justice, while interim govt asked 30 Dec Mexican ambassador and two members of Spanish mission in La Paz to leave country in 72 hours.

November 2019

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Political crisis following controversial general elections worsened with growing unrest and polarisation, and reports of 29 killed as security forces cracked down on protesters supporting former President Morales, but with moves late-month to de-escalate tensions. Amid worsening unrest over alleged electoral fraud, Organization of American States audit 10 Nov identified “serious” irregularities in 20 Oct election won by Morales, recommended re-run; Morales agreed and, under pressure from armed forces, resigned along with senior figures from ruling Movement toward Socialism (MAS) party, accepting political asylum in Mexico. Legislative Assembly met to appoint caretaker govt, in session not attended by MAS legislators; conservative opposition senator Jeanine Áñez 12 Nov declared herself interim president, pledging new elections and “all measures necessary to pacify country”. Morales 15 Nov called for dialogue, saying he was still legally president, but accepted new elections be held without him “in the name of peace”. Protests and unrest intensified as Morales supporters expressed outrage over what they claimed was anti-indigenous right-wing coup, meeting with violent response from security forces. Nine people killed 15 Nov after army reportedly opened fire on demonstration in Cochabamba; ten protestors blockading fuel plant killed in El Alto outside La Paz 19 Nov, in what Morales and his supporters called “a massacre”. Thousands demonstrated against killings in capital La Paz 21 Nov, forcibly dispersed by security forces. Áñez 14 Nov issued decree exempting security forces from criminal responsibility in operations aimed at “restoration of order and public stability”; repealed decree 28 Nov following criticism from rights bodies. Interim govt 22 Nov filed criminal complaint against Morales for alleged sedition and terrorism for inciting protests; 23 Nov passed bill with support from MAS annulling Oct election, appointing new electoral board and stipulating new elections must be held within 120 days. With protester roadblocks causing some food and fuel shortages, agreement between govt and protest leaders 25 Nov to release imprisoned demonstrators, withdraw security forces and respect Morales’ social policies led to protesters lifting roadblocks in La Paz, El Alto and Chapare. 

October 2019

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Amid concerns over legitimacy of general election results, govt faced mass protests, strikes and clashes between govt and opposition supporters that left several dead. Violent protests erupted in at least nine cities day after 20 Oct vote, which incumbent President Morales won amid concerns over vote-rigging and fraud, with opposition disputing results: thousands demonstrated in capital La Paz, while groups of Morales supporters and opponents clashed in various cities. Final results released 24 Oct showed Morales won 47.1% of vote thus avoiding second round, sparking more riots in La Paz and Santa Cruz de La Sierra, with police firing tear gas at crowds. Opposition candidate Carlos Mesa accused govt of “shameful and crude alteration of the result”, while EU and Organization American States (OAS) called for run-off. Govt supporters and opposition demonstrators clashed in various cities late month, including in La Paz where anti-govt protesters established road blocks; govt 30 Oct said two people died in clashes in Montero, Santa Cruz province. OAS 31 Oct began audit of results; Mesa rejected audit, saying he did not trust it.

April 2014

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Clashes erupted late March-early April between govt and mining cooperatives over modifications to mining bill; at least 2 dead, scores more injured. About 1,000 soldiers went on strike 22-25 April demanding promotion opportunities; govt later dismissed 715 of them.

November 2013

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Govt’s long-awaited study on domestic coca use said legal demand 20,690 metric tons, requiring 14,705ha of cultivation; compared with current legal limit of 12,000ha, 20,000ha demanded by coca growers, 25,300ha under cultivation in 2012.

October 2013

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Parliament 3 Oct approved controversial law changing number of legislative seats awarded to departments, strengthening legislative presence of wealthier eastern department Santa Cruz with 3 additional seats; 3 other departments, Chuquisaca, Potosí and Beni, lost 1 each. 4 people killed in 19 Oct clash between drug eradication team and coca growers in Apolo municipality, La Paz department; details unclear, coca growers said “provoked”, interior minister blamed Peruvian drug-trafficking gangs .

July 2013

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Reports of significant drop in cocaine production in past year; authorities said 5,689ha of coca destroyed Jan-June 2013. Relations with U.S. and Europe deteriorated following 2 July grounding of President Morales’ plane in Austria on suspicion he was travelling with fugitive U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden.

June 2013

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Coca growers in Apolo municipality 1 June briefly detained 5 members of Joint Task Force under taking coca eradication. Clashes related to eradication efforts continued, including highway blockages in Bautista Saavedra province that suspended transport  to and from La Paz. 

May 2013

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

President Morales 1 May expelled U.S. Agency for International Development, accusing it of political interference with peasant unions and other social organisations and conspiring against govt. Constitutional Court late April ruled Morales can run for re-election in 2014 election.

January 2013

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

President Morales early Jan secured re-admission into UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, obtained special dispensation clause on traditional local coca chewing. Ruling MAS party 20 Jan suffered electoral defeat in gubernatorial elections in opposition stronghold region Beni.

December 2012

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Controversial consultation process on construction of highway through indigenous territory TIPNIS concluded 7 Dec with 53 of 69 communities approving it; ombudsman Rolando Villena criticised process as “lacking support from communities”. President Morales 29 Dec signed decree nationalising 4 subsidiaries of Spanish-owned utility company Iberdrola.

October 2012

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

President Morales 7 Oct signed contract to resume contested construction of road through indigenous territory TIPNIS, despite ongoing indigenous resistance.

September 2012

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Rival groups of miners clashed in La Paz 19 Sept over right to control part of nationalised mine in Colquiri, leaving 1 killed, 9 wounded.

August 2012

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Public prosecutor early Aug issued detention orders for indigenous leaders opposing construction of national highway through TIPNIS national park; UN Resident Representative Yoriko Yasukawa stated concern govt public consultation on construction “generating controversy and conflict” rather than dialogue.

July 2012

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Indigenous groups in Malku Khota protested against Canadian mining firm citing environmental concerns, seized 5 engineers; 1 killed, 12 injured in subsequent clashes with police; President Morales 10 July announced revocation of mining concession in move to end conflict.

June 2012

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Govt 27 June announced agreement with police rebels after violent protests over wages, working conditions. Army deployed 15 June following clashes between mining employees, cooperative mining workers in Colquiri.

May 2012

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Tensions over construction of national highway through TIPNIS national park continued; President Morales 10 May said highway will be constructed. Citizen Security Vice Minister Miguel Vásquez 16 May said national security threatened by 21,000 gang members, police corruption. Govt restored 6-hour workday following dialogue with Bolivarian Central Union, representing health workers protesting since 23 April against decree increasing workday to 8 hours.

April 2012

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Tensions over construction of national highway through TIPNIS national park continued; President Morales 10 April cancelled contract with Brazilian company Constructora-OAS because company suspended road construction; march opposing construction resumed 27 April; UN called on authorities and indigenous leaders to maintain climate of tolerance and peace. Miners protesting over pay 24 April clashed with police; public health workers, medical students also clashed with police during separate rally opposing presidential decree extending working hours.

March 2012

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

2,300 soldiers deployed 17 March in La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, to stop common crime following protests over murder of 2 journalists, demands for reinstatement of death penalty. Morales 18 March threatened to close U.S. embassy over alleged interference in country’s domestic affairs. Indigenous communities mid-March announced plans for ninth march April 20 to protest controversial highway construction through TIPNIS national park, pledged to resist govt-sponsored consultation process scheduled 10 May-10 June.

February 2012

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Conflict over controversial highway construction through TIPNIS National Park intensified early Feb as ruling Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) renewed campaign to determine project’s fate. Following allegations by opposition that President Morales uses politically subservient judges to remove elected opponents, UN 7 Feb called for transparency and due process; Morales 8 Feb responded that MAS does not engage in political persecution of opposition.

January 2012

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

President Morales 23 Jan named 9 new ministers; 3 Jan appointed 56 judges, elected in Oct 2011 national ballot, to form country’s 4 highest courts. 4 killed 11 Jan in clashes between police and Yapacaní residents demanding mayor’s resignation. Protest march by supporters of highway construction, cancelled last Oct following widespread protest, through TIPNIS national park indigenous territory reached La Paz 30 Jan, clashed with police.

December 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Following Sept-Oct indigenous protest, govt 4 Dec approved law prohibiting highway construction through indigenous territory in TIPNIS national park; coca growers and some indigenous groups organised pro-highway demonstrations 9, 17 Dec. Ernesto Suarez Sattori, opposition Governor of Beni, suspended 16 Dec on charges of corruption; Santa Cruz Governor denounced “systematic annihilation” of opposition.

November 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

After 3 years of frozen diplomatic relations, Bolivia and U.S. 7 Nov agreed on framework document setting out principles for future relations; does not specify time frame for return of ambassadors; President Morales ruled out return of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

October 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Following late Sept violent police crackdown on indigenous protest against highway construction through indigenous territory and national park, groups resumed protest march 1 Oct, 19 Oct reached La Paz; President Morales 21 Oct announced road would not be built, 25 Oct signed law prohibiting highway construction through territory. In country’s first ever judicial elections 16 Oct, estimated 60% of voters spoilt or left blank their ballots after opposition call for boycott, alleged biased pre-selection process; observers claim major defeat for Morales.

September 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

After weeks of protests against highway construction through indigenous territory and national park, tensions rose following 25 Sept clash as police forcibly dispersed protesters, resulting in several wounded, 1 child allegedly dead, hundreds detained. Interior, defence ministers resigned; attorney general’s office announced investigation against former interior minister. President Morales 26 Sept suspended construction, condemned police action, proposed referendum in affected regions on road. Nationwide anti-govt protests and strikes 27, 28 Sept, indigenous groups said will resume protest march on La Paz 1 Oct. OHCHR 29 Sept condemned “excessive and indiscriminate force” against protesters.

August 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Series of anti-govt protests from groups traditionally considered ruling MAS party’s support base: indigenous organisations Cidob and Conamaq 15 Aug began protest to block plans to build highway through indigenous territory and national park, among other requests. President Morales accused U.S. of instigating protest; negotiations with govt so far unsuccessful.

July 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Govt 17 July announced drug police had destroyed some 230 cocaine processing labs in eastern Santa Cruz department; 5 July announced increased anti-drugs cooperation with Brazil. Several opposition parties 21 July said they will campaign for blank vote in Oct judicial elections they claim ruling MAS party will manipulate.

June 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Pre-candidate registration for Oct judiciary elections ended 12 June, parliament to select final 126 candidates to stand in election; opposition claimed ruling MAS party will use parliamentary majority to ensure selection of its own candidates. Govt 22 June withdrew from UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs to protest penalisation of chewing coca leaves.

May 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Court 16 May placed Beni department governor Ernesto Suárez (opposition) under house arrest due to corruption charges, but did not suspend him from carrying out duties as governor. Beni, Santa Cruz only remaining opposition-controlled departments following Dec flight to Paraguay of former Tarija governor Mario Cossío to escape corruption charges. Parliament 6 May approved law making Bolivia world’s first country to popularly elect judges for Supreme, Constitutional Courts.

April 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Labour protests continued: 2 weeks’ of large-scale street demonstrations, strikes, road blocks ended 18 Apr after govt and main umbrella union COB reached agreement to raise health and education wages by 11%. Govt 19 Apr announced will accept U.S. aid to verify destruction of coca plantations along border with Brazil.

March 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Following weeks of social unrest due to rising food and fuel prices, govt 2 March reached deal with main umbrella union COB, passed decree raising minimum wage by 20%. President Morales 11 March dismissed national police chief for allowing corruption in police force; followed late Feb high-profile arrest of police general in Panama for drug trafficking.

February 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Large-scale protests over food shortages, rising prices continued; President Morales 15 Feb reshuffled cabinet for second time in 5 weeks in response.

January 2011

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

11 Jan report from govt ombudsman highly critical of justice system: 70% of prisoners yet to receive formal charges, many lack access to lawyers; govt rejected report. Mario Cossío, suspended Tarija governor who fled country in Dec after govt launched corruption charges, granted political asylum in Paraguay 18 Jan.

December 2010

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Pro-opposition governor of Tarija department Mario Cossío removed by govt-controlled regional assembly 16 Dec on corruption charges, replaced by govt loyalist; opposition claimed charges politically motivated. Cossío fled to Paraguay, govt considering international arrest warrant. La Paz attorney 20 Dec charged 39 in context of alleged 2009 plot to assassinate President Morales. Morales 31 Dec cancelled 82% price hike on petrol that had provoked large-scale union-led protests across country from 26 Dec.

November 2010

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

UN HCHR Navi Pillay 16 Nov commended controversial new anti-racism law as “landmark development”, cautioned against possible violations of press freedom. U.S. Sec Defence Gates 21 Nov warned of unclear Iranian motives for possible nuclear deal with Bolivia; President Morales accused U.S. of interventionism.

October 2010

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Senate 8 Oct adopted anti-racism law amid continued demonstrations by media workers against 2 controversial provisions said to violate freedom of press. International media watchdogs expressed serious concerns, several MPs 20 Oct denounced “unconstitutional” articles; UN Bolivia representative 10 Oct called on govt, journalists to find peaceful solution. Morales and Iranian President Ahmadinejad 26 Oct signed agreement to strengthen political and economic cooperation. 4 former election officials in Pando dept 25 Oct arrested for organising 2008 autonomy referendum, declared illegal by govt.

September 2010

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

President Morales 20 Sept announced intention to stand for re-election in 2014 arguing he had only served only 1 term under new constitution, drawing criticism from opposition groups. Morales accused 7 Sept of attempting to “silence opposition” and politicise judiciary, following controversial jail sentence for former president Quiroga for supposed 2009 defamation of majority state-held bank. Reporters’ organisation 14 Sept accused govt of attempting to curb press freedom through new anti-racism law, sparking controversy ahead of senate vote.

August 2010

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Potosí department, traditional stronghold of ruling MAS party, paralysed from early Aug as more than 100,000 demonstrated against govt over protracted border dispute with Oruro department; protests ended 16 Aug after govt conceded to main Potosí civic group’s demands of infrastructure developments, commission to solve border dispute; UNOHCHR 11 Aug said dispute had led to “serious human rights violations”. President Morales 8 Aug announced army to be used in fight against drug trafficking.

July 2010

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Congress 18 July passed new autonomy law, final key piece of legislation necessary for full implementation of new Feb 2010 constitution; opposition criticised law for not recognising 2009 autonomy statutes of eastern departments. Influential indigenous group Cidob 20 July ended protests against law after reaching compromise with govt over land rights, control of natural resources. Santa Cruz governor Rubén Costas (opposition) 6 July accused VP García Linera of receiving money from narcotraffickers; García Linera denied.

June 2010

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia

Congress mid-month passed law giving indigenous communities right to administer own justice systems; opposition protested that law could lead to mob rule, highlighted by series of recent lynchings by indigenous communities, including of 4 police late May in Potosí department. Congress 12 June passed law giving president power to appoint members of departmental courts; opposition said infringes on regional autonomy.

May 2010

Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia