Arce’s victory was not enough to overcome the effects of the coup in Bolivia. Currently, the country is strongly threatened by the confluence of the anti-democratic interests of various political groups, paramilitaries and religious fundamentalists who seek to prevent the inauguration of the new government, scheduled for November 8. Institutionally, there is no doubt about the validity of Arce’s victory, which has already been confirmed by the Bolivian Electoral Court, but even so, several groups continue to question the procedure. Day after day, new allegations of fraud and all sorts of accusations arise, even without any material evidence.
As expected, the core of criticism against the electoral process comes from the city of Santa Cruz, a fortress of the Bolivian far right and where the articulations that led to the overthrow of Evo Morales originated last year. In Santa Cruz, the demonstrations have already started, and the agenda is just one: that the elections be annulled. With this goal, the demonstrators have hardened their speech and called on the Bolivian Armed Forces to intervene.
On the evening of November 2, at a meeting, the Cruceñista Youth Union (UJC) – a Santa Cruz-based far-right paramilitary group – decided to completely ignore the election results, demanding a “citizen, military and police audit” of the current Bolivian electoral situation. UJC is one of the most violent political groups in Latin America, having carried out beatings and murders during the protests against Evo Morales last year. In addition to calling on the military to “put order in the country”, UJC militants are blocking roads and various strategic locations in the country with the aim of causing chaos and instability – in short, the strategy is to generate social disorder to justify the necessity of military intervention – which will seem to be the only possible way out.
However, now the problem goes beyond UJC: some retired military personnel have recently come together to form active political groups, characterized by common agendas with the UJC, such as policy of alignment with the US, economic liberalism and racism against indigenous people. These military nuclei currently ask Añez to refuse to pass the position to Arce. Although Arce’s victory was recognized, Añez and her ministers made no public response to repudiate the requests they have been receiving from extremist groups,