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  • A supporter of President Evo Morales holds his portrait during a march, in Buenos Aires, Argentina Nov. 8, 2019.

    A supporter of President Evo Morales holds his portrait during a march, in Buenos Aires, Argentina Nov. 8, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 November 2019

Opposition-led protests in Santa Cruz, Sucre and Cochabamba have left dozens injured.

Bolivia's President Evo Morales on Friday asked people to remain calm amid racist and violent acts prompted by opposition groups that do not recognize the results of the October 20 presidential elections.

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"In the face of racism and violence, our people ask for social peace with tolerance and respect for the humblest," the Bolivian President said and added that "our homeland is built with the unity and solidarity of all professionals, workers, intellectuals and social sectors."

Over the last week, Bolivians have witnessed furious opposition-led protests in areas such as Santa Cruz, Sucre, and Cochabamba, where violence left dozens injured, including indigenous women who were beaten while marching peacefully in demand for respect for their votes.

Another victim of the vexations encouraged by right-wing groups was the Vinto mayor, Patricia Arce, who was forced to parade barefoot for several kilometers while the mob exposed her as war spoils.

In the country's capital, La Paz, university students, who wanted to enter Murillo Square, starred in moments of tension when facing security forces.

On Friday afternoon, President Morales held a meeting with his interior and defense ministers after it was known that some units of the Police had made a riot.

"We greet mothers and young women who joined today in the 'Mobilization for Peace' to show the world that the Bolivian people want to peacefully work and live in a democracy. Violence destroys the Bolivian family's unity and economy."

According to the local press, this meeting was also attended by the Army commander Williams Kaliman and the Police commander Yuri Calderon, who had assured that everything was calm just a few minutes before the riots began.

On Saturday morning, Morales denounced a coup by violent groups as some police officers joined opposition protests.

“Sisters and brothers, our democracy is at risk due to the coup d’etat that violent groups have launched, which undermine the constitutional order. We denounce this attempt against the rule of law before the international community,” the Bolivian president tweeted.

Luis Fernando Camacho, a businessman and fundamentalist religious leader from Santa Cruz who has become a symbol of the opposition, rejected the Bolivian president’s call.

He also announced that he will lead a march to the government palace on Monday with a symbolic pre-written resignation letter for Morales to sign.

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