Protests have been ongoing in Bolivia since the general elections of Oct. 20. At least 32 people have been killed in the unrest. President Morales resigned on Nov. 10, following days of protests and calls from the military to resign; Senator Anez was subsequently sworn in as interim president Nov. 12. Protesters demanded Anez's immediate resignation, who was sworn in as president under legally questionable circumstances. The interim government's agreement with Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) leaders Nov. 23 has somewhat eased political tensions. The new legislation does not stipulate when elections will be held; however, it could take up to five months before elections are held, meaning that Bolivia will probably face an increased unrest threat and uncertainty through at least April 2020. Given that the new administration has rejected the immunity bill to protect Morales, it is unlikely he will return to Bolivia in the short-term. Several high-level MAS leaders have also fled the country. Nonetheless, arrests of MAS leaders charged with sedition may spark additional protests.
In the wake of the president's resignation and newly self-appointed president, the streets of Bolivia have turned to turmoil. Throughout central Bolivia, most of the highways are being blocked by protesters, making getting to an airport to evacuate potentially difficult. Watch to learn the potential triggers that could escalate the situation further and get risk mitigation advice if your people are in the country.
Police will probably maintain an increased presence in major cities despite the withdrawal of the military from non-strategic sites. The threat of violence at all political protests in Bolivia remains elevated. Police and military personnel will probably respond by firing teargas and rubber bullets; security forces may also fire live rounds at protesters. Demonstrators may throw rocks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails, block roads, and set fires. Looting is also possible.
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