Interim President of Bolivia Jeanine Añez has ordered troops to the streets and forced opposition candidates to organize abroad for fear of arrest ahead of the country’s first elections since a US-backed coup last November.
Wednesday, January 22 marks the day that Jeanine Añez is set to stand down as “interim” President of Bolivia, beginning the process for fresh elections set for May 3. Añez came to power in November, following a U.S.-backed coup that deposed the Movement to Socialism’s (MAS) Evo Morales. However, she is certainly not acting as if she intends to relinquish her power, let alone move towards new elections. Instead, she has sent the military, replete with tanks and other armored fighting vehicles, into the capital cities of all nine departments of the country.
8pm: The Bolivian military is riding about central La Paz with their guns out and sirens on. They’re not going to an incident, the objective is to intimidate the population. pic.twitter.com/Fjpt6pmuNV
— Ollie Vargas (@OVargas52) January 17, 2020
MintPress News’ Ollie Vargas was on the scene in the center of the capital La Paz, where he filmed hundreds of armed soldiers performing drills outside the Cathedral of St. Francis and dozens of military vehicles circling the city, sirens on and guns drawn.
“The purpose of that is to intimidate people ahead of possible protests against the coup on the 22nd of January…This was a show of force saying you are not going to be able to march what you want. The military is preparing for a war-style operations if marches do arrive in the city. It is about intimidating the people,” he said in an interview with TeleSUR English; “The point was to be a show of force, rather than itself be an act of repression. It was there to show what repression could come.”
Huge mobilization of the Bolivian military in the center of La Paz, outside San Francisco cathedral.
In six days, social movements will be protesting here against the coup. pic.twitter.com/CxUqdV44rv
— Ollie Vargas (@OVargas52) January 16, 2020
The military played a leading role in the November coup,