Students continue to protest after failing to reach an agreement with the government

Peaceful Assembly

Activists of the 21-F Movement, a group that opposes the candidacy of President Morales for re-election as they consider it unconstitutional, said they will start a legal process against the Police General Agustin Moreno who warned the movement against protesting on 6th August when Bolivia was celebrating Independence day. On 6th August, in the city of Potosi, police officers created a security perimeter around the square where President Morales was delivering a speech, action that angered some of the protesters. Some minor incidents with teargas were reported while protesters tried to access the square. 

In a separate incident, students from Alto University have continued to protest after failing to reach an agreement with the government regarding an increase in the university’s budget. As reported previously on the Monitor, past demonstrations were repressed by the police leading to the death of one student. The police officer that was arrested and accused of the death of the student was released after a judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence against him. 

Expression

On 26th June 2018, it was reported that students from El Alto University attempted to forcefully enter the building of the State TV. After failing to do so, the students painted the facade of the building. 

Fernando Vidal, head of Radio Popular 95.1, a community radio in the region of Tarija, reported that supporters of the ruling party filed a complaint to the telecommunications regulatory body of Bolivia demanding the closure of the radio station. Vidal explains that this act is a consequence of his constant criticism to the re-election of President Morales.

During the inauguration of a Government building on 9th August, journalists reported that they were not allowed to enter the inauguration ceremony and they were pushed by security forces while trying to enter the premises. 

In a positive development, newspaper El Gran Chaco started circulating again after it had been banned for 48 hours by the environmental authority. The authority claimed that the ink the outlet uses polluted the environment. However, representatives of the newspaper stated that the closure is a consequence of an article they published regarding the dismissal of a public employee for his disability and criticism against the city mayor, a supporter of the ruling party.