"Once again, the racist hatred against our Indigenous brothers causes death and pain in the Bolivian people," former President Evo Morales tweeted.
Over 25 Bolivian farmers were attacked by a mob of people mobilized by the Potosi Civic Committee (COMCIPO), a far-right organization that called a "civic strike" on Tuesday. Farmer Basilio Titi was killed amid an ambush in which attackers focused their blows and screams on Indigenous citizens.
"We are concerned that this organization continues to call for mobilizations despite the fact that one person died," Potosi Governor Jhonny Mamani said and reiterated the authorities' willingness to dialogue with citizens. The Ombudsman Nadia Cruz reported that Titi's autopsy revealed that the farmer died as a result of mechanical asphyxia caused by the aspiration of a foreign body.
"The violence has really risen to a worrying escalation," she said, adding that 63 people injured in the clashes are being treated at the Red Cross and other hospitals. Among the injured are farmers, three policemen, a journalist, and even COMCIPO members.
On Wednesday, Health Vice Minister Alvaro Terrazas denounced that individuals linked to the civic strike prevented the passage of the ambulance that was transporting the 26-year-old farmer, who died as a result of the lack of timely medical attention.
Bolivian oppositionists in Potosí beat up an indigenous man yesterday, leaving him in a coma (0.23). Another died while trying to get home.— Ollie Vargas (@OVargas52) November 10, 2021
The majority of Bolivians have had enough, people are demanding a full crackdown on the violent opposition. pic.twitter.com/CMc1DLuj8Y
“The obstruction of ambulances and health care emergencies is a Constitutional crime,” he recalled and recounted that the assailants threw dirt in the face of the ambulance driver.
The Special Force to Fight Crime (FELCC) indicated that two people carrying explosive devices were arrested in Tuesday's protests, which were called by organizations that reject President Luis Arce's anti-money laundering law. In 2019, these organizations were linked to the U.S.-backed coup d'état against President Evo Morales and operated as paramilitary groups that supported the repression against Indigenous peoples unleashed during the Jeanine Añez regime.
"Once again, the racist hatred against our Indigenous brothers causes death and pain in the Bolivian people. We demand an urgent investigation to identify and punish those responsible for the death of a young man at hands of COMCIPO-related paramilitary groups," Morales tweeted.