Bolivia Protest Alert

Updated on 24 October 2019





US Department of State and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel

Warnings: As of 24 October 2019, there are travel alerts for Bolivia.

There are recurring demonstrations, strikes, roadblocks, and marches in major cities in

Bolivia.  Demonstrations and marches are centered on city plazas, vote counting centers,

and electoral tribunals.  Roadblocks and strikes cut off traffic on major thoroughfares,

highways between cities, and airport access.  There are reports of sporadic violence, and

local authorities have used crowd control measures to discourage protests.


Domestic and international flights may be delayed or cancelled, and road travel around and

between cities may be impeded.


Situation:

Elections were held in Bolivia on Sunday, October 20 th with the initial results of a quick

count showing a tight race between current president Evo Morales and challenger Carlos

Mesa. On Monday night another count showed Morales as having a 10-point lead, which

would ward off a runoff vote and make Morales the winner. Protests broke out with chants

of “fraud”, claims that the vote had been rigged and attacks on election facilities. Protests

continued Tuesday in La Paz and other cities as the integrity of the vote was called into

question by the Organization of American States.


As of Wednesday morning, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal held a recount and confirmed

that Morales won by a 10.02-point margin. Union leaders and activists called for an

indefinite, countrywide strike, accusing Morales of stealing the election. Mesa is calling for

action as he fears the vote was rigged behind the scenes.


Morales has been in office since 2006.


Possible Effects:

  • Increased security presence

  • Disrupted modes of transportation

  • Disruptions in deliveries of supplies

  • Increases in traffic, especially near protest sites

  • Roads blocked by protestors with little to no notice

  • Protests which have the possibility of turning violent


Mitigating Factors to Apply:

  • Avoid all protests, demonstrations, and large crowds, which have the possibility of turning violent

  • Allow extra time for travel

  • Monitor local and social media for updates

  • Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.

  • If you are caught in a blockade:

  • Remain calm

  • Do not exit your vehicle

  • Call the authorities

  • Emergency Services (police, fire, and medical): 110

  • U.S. Embassy at +591 (2) 216-8000

  • Enroll in the Safe Traveler program (STEP) to receive warnings from the U.S. Embassy


DISCLAIMER and Hold Harmless

Disclaimer: LSDS gathers information from multiple sources and offers insight and perspective to travelers. Sources cannot be validated for accuracy in every instance. Travelers assume all risk associated with their travel and are responsible for the decisions associated with travel and for their own safety. Users of this reference document agree, to hold harmless LSDS (LLC) its employees and clients associated with any risk or injury incurred during travel.

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