Bolivia: Anger rises as opposition leader Camacho arrested


Bolivian police have arrested a prominent right-wing opposition leader on charges of terrorism.

Luis Fernando Camacho is the governor of Santa Cruz, the country’s wealthiest region. He helped oust President Evo Morales from power in 2019.

Camacho has led an anti-government strike in Santa Cruz for over a month, bringing the region to a standstill.

His supporters have condemned his arrest as a kidnapping and have taken to the streets in protest.

But the state attorney’s office said the arrest was connected to the toppling of the former leftist president.

An October arrest warrant accused Camacho of “terrorism” but did not elaborate.

The strikes led by Camacho are over delays in carrying out the country’s census.

The census would likely result in Santa Cruz – which has long locked horns with highland political capital La Paz – securing more tax revenues and political power. The census is scheduled for 2024, but protesters want it held next year.

Graciela Ortiz, an assistant for Camacho who was with him during his arrest, said a white patrol van intercepted their vehicle.

Upon being arrested, Camacho was taken to a local airport to be flown to La Paz, local media reported.

Protesters also descended on Santa Cruz’s Viru Viru airport, in an apparent attempt to prevent Camacho from being taken to another location.

Long queues have been building up as people stock up on food, fearing road blockades.

Former President Carlos Mesa called the arrest a “kidnapping”.


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