Protests following the arrest of Santa Cruz governor and right-wing opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho
Miners' Protest In Bolivia Becomes Deadly Photo by: Reuters/Agustin Marcarian

The Santa Cruz blockade continued unabated with no trucks or cars passing through the highway that connects the city to the rest of the country. The country’s opposition continued to push for the release of Gov. Luis Fernando Camacho.

Hundreds of trucks continued to be stopped by the highway leaving Santa Cruz, with frustrated drivers waiting by the wayside as the opposition has blocked the way out of the city to San Carlos with large mounds of sand that are insurmountable for most vehicles except for motorcycles, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The continued blockade happening in Santa Cruz is explicitly due to the imprisonment of Gov. Luis Fernando Camacho, who has been arrested for his alleged involvement in instigating the 2019 protests that led to the resignation of former President Evo Morales, the Associated Press reported.

While the government has branded the 2019 protests a coup, activists from the Creemos political party as well as supporters of the governor claimed that the protests were a legitimate exercise of discontent on an election they deemed fraudulent, and have called Camacho’s arrest a kidnapping.

Now, the blockade continued as an attempt to show the government the country’s need for Santa Cruz and to push them to release Camacho from prison. The area contributes to over one-third of the country’s economic activity as well as 70% of the food being eaten in the country.

President Luis Arce has attempted to downplay the economic impact of the blockade publicly, but prices in the marketplace for basic food–meat and vegetables have increased, while there is concerrn that the monetary reserves in the Central Bank will diminish because of this.

Despite the appearance of strength from many of the protestors, fatigue is reportedly settling into the party and Camacho’s supporters due to having had a similar 36-day strike recently in the city less than a few months to push the country’s census date forward. Activist Rómulo Calvo admitted that many are tired, but that the protests will continue until they get what they want.

“The blockades will last for as long as people who are taking the action can continue,” he said.

Luis Fernando Camacho
Luis Fernando Camacho was arrested on Wednesday on 'terrorism charges,' including for an alleged role in the resignation of leftist president Evo Morales in 2019. Photo by: AFP/Jorge Bernal

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