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  • Mayor Patricia Arce (c) is forced to

    Mayor Patricia Arce (c) is forced to "parade" after opponents threw red paint on her following a fire in Vinto's Town Hall, Bolivia, Nov. 6, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @spermioplural

Published 7 November 2019

Mayor Patricia Arce was forced to walk barefoot for several kilometers while listening to sexist and racist comments

A mob led by the right-wing opposition Wednesday set fire to the Vinto Town Hall and dragged socialist mayor Patricia Arce down the street, where they humiliated her physically and verbally.

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The Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) politician was still inside the town hall when the mob set it on fire.

Once she was taken to the street, right-wing activists forced her to walk barefoot as they kept shouting slogans alluding to her status as a woman and member of the party of President Evo Morales.

During some stretches of an improvised political "parade", she was beaten and pushed to the ground. The mob also threw dirt on her. "If you want to kill me, kill me," Mayor Arce said before the cameras and added, "I am not afraid, I am in a free country."

After walking several kilometers surrounded by protesters who did not stop humiliating her, the socialist mayor was rescued by police officers.

In other cities such as Cochabamba and Quillacollo, right-wing activists also sought to generate violent incidents against Indigenous men and women who support President Morales.

Besides having racist traits, those actions are part of a destabilization campaign that the Bolivian opposition has been promoting since Oct. 20, when candidate Carlos Mesa came second in the presidential elections in which Evo Morales won reelection.

The opposition and civic committees of the richest regions of the country, however, do not recognize his victory and are demanding the resignation of the Bolivian president.

The Organization of American States (OAS) mission, which is in Bolivia performing an audit of the presidential election results, condemned acts of violence and made an "urgent" call for calm.

Meanwhile, a young man died from the severe injuries he sustained Wednesday in clashes in central Bolivia, becoming the third fatality since the presidential election.

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