In a big move that de-escalated the violence that has been plaguing the country, Bolivian Interim President Jeanine Anez has agreed to “pacify” the country, by withdrawing the military from the protest areas and repealing the law that gave the military broad powers in the use of force.
The deal struck with opposition leaders on Sunday is a first, but very big, step in bringing to an end the violence that has both crippled the country and killed over 30 people since the October 20 election. Allegations of vote-rigging and other impropriety against then-incumbent President Evo Morales triggered widespread protests. But the army and the police didn’t deter any protests until after Morales left office.
It was then that Morales allegedly urged his supporters to protest and to blockade key highways and commerce centers. That prodded the military and police to act; and they did so violently. Some of the protest leaders that support Morales claim that it was the army who killed most, if not all of the people. President Anez and the military have denied these charges.
Anez’s agreement with the opposition offers 12-points in return for the opposition leaders to stop the protests. These opposition groups consist of indigenous farmers and trade unions that were loyal to Morales. And while the agreement to stop the protests is significant to the government, it also was beneficial to the same farmers and unions as they, probably more than anyone, suffered the most.
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