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News > Bolivia

Bolivia Arrests Organizers of Fatal University Rally in El Alto

  • Students place candles at the El Alto University, Bolivia, March 3, 2021.

    Students place candles at the El Alto University, Bolivia, March 3, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 5 March 2021

The detainees face culpable homicide and injury charges committed against eleven students, seven of whom passed away on Tuesday. 

A Bolivian court on Friday ordered the preventive detention of seven university leaders for the death of a group of students who fell almost 17 meters after the collapse of a railing at the El Alto Public University (UPEA).


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The Prosecutor's Office stated that the detainees face culpable homicide and culpable injuries charges committed against 11 students, 7 of whom passed away on Tuesday. 

The student leaders called for an assembly at UPEA facilities, which violated current health protocols prohibiting mass gatherings. Despite being aware of disputes among several students, they decided to maintain the reunion.

The male detainees will remain in detention at San Pedro prison and the female one at Obrajes for four months. 

"Lower Chamber's 66th plenary ordinary session starts with a minute of silence in tribute and solidarity to the university students who lost their lives in the tragic accident at UPEA."

On Tuesday, an extraordinary assembly took place at UPEA's fourth floor where around 500 economics and financial sciences students gathered. 

Videos show how some of the university students began to push each other and, due to the people's agglomeration, the railing that supported them collapsed. 

"Violence does not resolve conflicts, but it always has fatal consequences. All our solidarity to the families and UPEA community for the irreparable loss of young students," Bolivia's Vice President David Choquehuanca tweeted. 

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