What You Need to Know:
Supporters of former Bolivian President Evo Morales, locally known as ‘Evistas’ have for a second day, attempted to blockade the Cochabamba-Oruro highway in the Bolivian town of Parotani.
Police responded to the blockade with tear gas, and reports from Kawsachun Coca radio claim authorities fired pellets at the protestors as well.
In response, the protestors, holding the high ground, threw dynamite in an attempt to push the authorities back.
— Bolivia tv Oficial (@Canal_BoliviaTV) January 23, 2024
The Cochabamba Department has six major points which are open to blockade. Tonight, Police have tonight cordoned off Suticollo roadblock, an entryway to the town of Parotani in an attempt to stop protestors amassing in the area.
#BTVInforma ? | Un contingente de la Policía Boliviana se encuentra en la tranca de Suticollo, #Cochabamba, para resguardar la carretera hacia Parotani y evitar enfrentamientos en la zona del bloqueo.
Periodista: Filomeno Checo BTV pic.twitter.com/5U9O2bFKcA
— Bolivia tv Oficial (@Canal_BoliviaTV) January 24, 2024
Morales’ supporters are demanding that new elections for the country’s Judicial Magistrates be held immediately, after the Constitutional Court extended the current Magistrates’ mandates in 2023.
The extension was granted due to Congress not submitting a list of pre-candidates to the Electoral Court on time.
Evista blockades have reportedly cost the Cochabamba Department 115 Million bolivianos ($16.6 Million USD).
In a press release, Luis Laredo, head of the Cochabamba Business Association claimed, “The ease of interrupting free transit on major highways, as well as the lack of immediate action from authorities required by law to solve social conflicts, create a state of severe legal uncertainty that acts against private sector efforts.”
Initially elected in 2006, Morales attempted to seek a fourth term in 2019 which triggered mass protests, leaving at least 20 dead.
Morales fled to Mexico and did not return to Bolivia until current President, Luis Acre, took power in 2020.
Additionally, a 2023 ruling by Bolivia’s Constitutional Court barred Morales from running in the 2025 Presidential election.