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Bolivian opposition protesters attack socialist town mayor

Mayor Patricia Arce was forced to "parade" after opponents threw red paint on her.  (Photo: Twitter/ @spermioplural)

Mayor Patricia Arce was forced to "parade" after opponents threw red paint on her.  (Photo: Twitter/ @spermioplural)

La Paz, November 7 (RHC)-- A mob led by the right-wing opposition in Bolivia set fire to the Vinto Town Hall and dragged socialist mayor Patricia Arce down the street, where they humiliated her physically and verbally.

The Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) politician was still inside the town hall when the mob set it on fire.  Once she was taken to the street, right-wing activists forced her to walk barefoot as they kept shouting slogans alluding to her status as a woman and member of the party of President Evo Morales.

During some stretches of an improvised political "parade," she was beaten and pushed to the ground.  The mob also threw dirt on her.  "If you want to kill me, kill me," Mayor Arce said before the cameras and added: "I am not afraid.  I am in a free country."

After walking several kilometers surrounded by protesters who did not stop humiliating her, the socialist mayor was rescued by police officers.

In other cities such as Cochabamba and Quillacollo, right-wing activists also sought to generate violent incidents against Indigenous men and women who support President Evo Morales.

Besides racist attacks, those actions are part of a destabilization campaign that the Bolivian opposition has been promoting since October 20th, when candidate Carlos Mesa came second in the presidential elections in which Evo Morales won re-election.

The opposition and civic committees of the richest regions of the country, however, do not recognize his victory and are demanding the resignation of the Bolivian president.  The Organization of American States (OAS) mission, which is in Bolivia performing an audit of the presidential election results, condemned acts of violence and made an urgent call for calm.

Edited by Ed Newman
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