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Bolivian police fire tear-gas at protesters bearing the coffins of their comrades

BOLIVIAN police fired tear gas at anti-coup protesters who marched into La Paz bearing the coffins of slain comrades on Thursday.

The protest condemned the military putsch that overthrew re-elected president Evo Morales earlier this month and installed Jeanine Anez in his place during an inquorate meeting of the country’s parliament.

Demonstrators mounted roadblocks around La Paz, Oruro, Beni, Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba and Potosi. A blockade of the Oruro-La Paz motorway stopped fuel reaching the capital.

The Ministry of Defence accused Mr Morales’s Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), which still has a majority in both houses of parliament, of surrounding fuel facilities. The army has already cleared the way for some petrol tankers to reach the capital, killing protesters who tried to stand in the way.

Mr Morales said he would organise a Truth Commission from exile in Mexico, consisting of “international personalities,” to assess the election and verify “if there really was fraud” — as claimed by the Organisation of American States without evidence.

Ms Anez has presented a Bill to the parliament calling for new elections, but it is unclear how MAS deputies will respond to it. Many are insisting that Mr Morales must be allowed to return and to participate if any new election is held, but Ms Anez says she will have the legitimate president arrested if he dares to return. Aside from its parliamentary majorities the MAS continues to hold most mayoralties and regional governorships, and most trade unions are affiliates.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Mr Morales had no role in Bolivia’s future.


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