Sebastián Michel, the spokesperson of the Movement Towards Socialism – Political Instrument for People’s Sovereignty (MAS-IPSP) denounced that on the night of Thursday November 5, a stick of dynamite exploded outside the door of the MAS-IPSP campaign headquarters. Michel reported that incoming president Luis Arce was in a meeting at the campaign house when the explosive detonated and that it occurred when far-right groups marched by.
Former Bolivian president Evo Morales condemned the “attack on our campaign house in La Paz. Small groups are trying to generate a climate of confusion and violence, but they will not achieve it. We will not fall for any provocations. Our revolution is peaceful and democratic.”
Following the overwhelming defeat of center-right candidate Carlos Mesa and far-right Luis Fernando Camacho to the MAS-IPSP presidential ticket, far-right groups in the country have been launching allegations of electoral fraud and calling for strikes and protests against the results. However, the victory of Luis Arce has been widely recognized by politicians across the political spectrum both within and outside Bolivia. De-facto president Jeanine Añez, who a year back unconstitutionally seized power following the coup d’état, congratulated Arce on the victory in the early hours of October 19, just hours after polls had closed.
Ahead of the swearing in of Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca as president and vice-president of Bolivia this Sunday November 8, actions by the far-right groups have intensified. Groups in Santa Cruz, Cochabamba and La Paz have called for a 24-hour civic-strike for Friday November 6 to demand an audit of the election results. Many fear the groups seek to generate situations of violent confrontation with MAS-IPSP supporters in the context of the swearing in.
The mobilizations have instilled fear in the population who still have fresh memories of the far-right mobilizations in November 2019 that led to the coup d’état and unleashed a wave of racist violence against poor and Indigenous Bolivians. However, social movements and trade unions have called on their bases to remain alert and not fall for the provocations. The Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) released a communique wherein they called on organizations to protect the areas the central plaza where Sunday’s ceremony will take place. They vowed “not to allow any attacks, or attempts to boycott, or government destabilization.