Mo­rales fumes as pro­test­ers at­tack mayor

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

LA PAZ (AFP) — Bo­livia’s Pres­i­dent Evo Mo­rales con­demned Thurs­day an at­tack on a fe­male mayor in which an op­po­si­tion mob forcibly cut her hair, cov­ered her in paint and marched her bare­foot through the streets.

Bo­livia has been rocked by deadly post-elec­tion vi­o­lence over op­po­si­tion claims that Mo­rales rigged his re-elec­tion last month.

A 20-year-old stu­dent died in clashes Wed­nes­day be­tween proand anti-govern­ment demon­stra­tors in the cen­tral city of Cochabamba, bring­ing the over­all toll to three dead since the Oc­to­ber 20 elec­tion.

In nearby Vindo, an op­po­si­tion mob stormed the mu­nic­i­pal head­quar­ters and dragged the mayor, Pa­tri­cia Arce, into the street be­fore set­ting the build­ing ablaze.

Mo­rales said in a tweet Thurs­day that Arce — a mem­ber of his rul­ing Move­ment for So­cial­ism (MAS) party — had been “cru­elly ab­ducted for ex­press­ing and de­fend­ing her ideals and the prin­ci­ples of the poor­est.”

Tele­vi­sion images showed her on the ground, her hair cut, and cov­ered in red paint. She was dragged and forced to walk bare­foot through the town by the mob, be­fore be­ing res­cued by po­lice on mo­tor­cy­cles.

Mo­rales’ party de­manded the po­lice bring the per­pe­tra­tors to jus­tice.

Arce’s of­fice told lo­cal me­dia Thurs­day the mayor “is re­cov­er­ing” from her or­deal.

“For these peo­ple, be­ing a woman is a crime, be­ing hum­ble is a crime, hav­ing a skirt is a crime, said Vice Pres­i­dent Al­varo Gar­cia.

“This has never hap­pened in our democ­racy. That is called fas­cism: at­tack­ing women, as­sault­ing them for their eth­nic sta­tus. What Bo­livia is fac­ing is a fas­cist wave.”

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