Bolivia: The opposition governor of Santa Cruz was arrested

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Bolivia: The opposition governor of Santa Cruz was arrested

Luis Fernando Camacho is being investigated as he is believed to have been a key factor in the events that led to the resignation of Evo Morales from the presidency in 2019.

The governor of the Santa Cruz region, Luis Fernando Camacho, one of the main leaders of the Bolivian opposition, was arrested yesterday Wednesday by order of the prosecutor, the Ministry of the Interior announced.

“We inform the Bolivian people that the Bolivian police have executed an arrest warrant against Mr. Luis Fernando Camacho,” Interior Minister Carlos Eduardo del Castillo said via Twitter.

The interior ministry did not immediately respond when AFP asked for clarification on the reasons for the arrest.

Mr. Camacho is being investigated as he is considered to have been a key factor in the events that led to the resignation of Evo Morales from the presidency in 2019 and because he instigated the protests and riots in the period from October to November, which had at least 4 dead and 200 injured.

According to local media reports, the governor of Bolivia’s most populous region, the engine of the economy, was taken to Santa Cruz airport to fly to the capital La Paz.

“We are currently unaware of the governor’s whereabouts and are holding the government of President Luis Arce responsible for the safety and life of the governor,” was the reaction of Mr. Camacho’s office.

“The governor of Santa Cruz was arrested during a completely illegal police operation and taken to an unknown location,” he added.

The 43-year-old lawyer and right-wing leader, an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency in 2020 (14% of the vote), was “kidnapped”, declared the conservative former president Carlos Mesa.

After learning that Mr. Camacho had been arrested, dozens of his supporters demanding his release gathered at the two airports in the Santa Cruz regional capital of the same name (Viru Viru and El Trompillo), where flights were suspended.

Luis Fernando Camacho has been among the most important leaders of the Bolivian right in recent years and leads its second largest faction in parliament, the Creemos (“We Believe”) party, behind former president Mesa’s Comunidad Ciudadana (“Community of Citizens”) party.

This year’s protests in Santa Cruz were related to the population census, which the opposition demanded be accelerated ahead of the 2025 elections, which Luis Arce’s government finally accepted, announcing that it would be held in March 2024. Based on the census data, the the resources allocated from the budget and also the allocation of seats in Parliament for each region.

RES-EMP

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