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News > Bolivia

Bolivia: Conflict in Cochabamba’s K'ara K'ara Dumpsite Continues

  • bodies of people who died from COVID-19 in the streets of Cochabamba, Bolivia, July 2020.

    bodies of people who died from COVID-19 in the streets of Cochabamba, Bolivia, July 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 8 July 2020

The Añez administration unleashed police brutality and militarized the area.

Bolivia’s coup-born regime led by Jeanine Añez does not meet the population’s demands for health care, which has contributed for Cochabamba to continue filling with garbage.


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On Sunday, Ombudsman Office Head Nadia Cruz, Interior Vice-Minister Javier Issa, Ombudsman Office Delegate Nelson Cox, and Cochabamba's Governor Esther Soria promoted a dialogue process to find solutions but did not achieve further results.

On Tuesday, to alleviate the situation of the K'ara K'ara garbage dump, the
Departmental Health Service announced that it will enable a temporary sanitary landfill, in which over 4,000 tons of garbage accumulated in Cochabamba city will be deposited.

Cochabamba’s social discontent was unleashed when the COVID-19 cases shot up due to the Añez administration's inaction. In response to its passivity, the residents blocked access to the K'ara K'ara garbage dump and also demanded the release of political prisoners imprisoned by the U.S.-backed interim government.

The Police and the Army attacked the garbage collectors who maintain the blockade with tear gas and bullets. Meanwhile, paramilitary groups threatened local authorities and dumped garbage in the mayor's office.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed their concern about the violence registered in the K'ara K'ara area and called on the authorities to "not criminalize" social protests. At this time, however, the dialogue process is on standby.

As of Wednesday morning, Bolivia had reported 41,545 COVID-19 cases and 1,530 deaths.

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