Civil unrest...here we go again...
Updated: Aug 22, 2020
As most of you know, Bolivia shut down last fall for three week, for a country-wide civil strike to protest the illegal election of our ex-president. He eventually ended up fleeing the country, first to Mexico (until they kicked him out) and later to Argentina.
Now he's trying to come back.
A new election was supposed to be held in June but was pushed back by the interim government, first to September and then to October, because of the pandemic. Bolivia has been one of the worst hit countries in the world by Covid and there were many questions about how to hold an election in the midst of this kind of crisis.
It seems Evo and his followers have been planning and waiting for a moment like this. Very quickly a number of militant groups formed and began blockading the highland cities of Cochabamba and La Paz. Medical supplies, already in short supply because of the virus, have become almost non-existent. Food prices, in a time when most people have very little money, have begun to climb as produce and meat trucks are unable to get into the cities.
These groups are armed, well organized and well paid. There's not much doubt that money is coming in from somewhere. Those manning the blockades are receiving nearly twice the national daily wage.
At any rate, it seems we may be moving back into some uncertain political times, even as Covid continues to be challenging. We would appreciate your prayers. So far we haven't been affected down here in Santa Cruz. We're fortunate that Santa Cruz has been the centre of anit-Evo sentiment and people here don't respond well to this kind of intimidation.