MEXICO CITY, November 17. /TASS/. Former Bolivian President Evo Morales believes that the political crisis that unfolded after the presidential election in this country can lead to a civil war, he said in an interview with the EFE news agency published on Sunday.
"I am very afraid," the politician underlined answering a question on a possibility of an internal armed conflict. "While we were in power, we united city and countryside, east and west <…>. While now there are groups emerging that incite violence, gang members, drug addicts <…> they even got into universities and gather into paramilitary groups." Morales called on his compatriots to avert this turn of events.
According to the Inter·American Commission on Human Rights, at least 23 people died since the political crisis erupted in Bolivia and 715 more were injured. The human rights activists said via Twitter that on November 15 and 16 alone "nine people died and 122 were wounded after police and military used force." On November 15, clashes near the city of Cochabamba took place between power structure agents and supporters of the former leader when almost 170 people were arrested.
Bolivia's presidential election was held on October 20. The country's Supreme Electoral Court declared that incumbent President Evo Morales won the first round. His main rival, former President Carlos Mesa, said that he did not recognize Morales' victory. After the results of the election were announced, protests and strikes erupted across the South American country. Morales declared a state of emergency in Bolivia. On November 10, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation, branding the recent developments as a coup d’etat. He stepped down following the demands of the country’s armed forces, opposition and trade unions. Former Vice President of Bolivia Alvaro Garcia Linera also slammed the developments as a coup as well as a few ministers and a number of members of parliament. Later that day,
On November 12, Morales arrived in Mexico that granted him a political asylum. Later that day, senator and second Vice-Speaker of the Senate of Bolivia Jeanine Anez declared that she has assumed the presidency.