The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) is deeply dismayed at the escalating political violence in several lowland departments of Bolivia, evidently instigated by vigilante groups opposed to Bolivia’s democratically-elected national government. (Bolivian President Evo Morales was confirmed in office last month with a resounding 67 percent of the national vote.) WOLA urges Bolivia’s regional opposition leaders to accept President Morales’ offer to begin immediate talks to prevent further bloodshed and to peacefully resolve their underlying disputes.
WOLA is also concerned that the diplomatic frictions involving the Bolivian, Venezuelan and U.S. governments—including a series of ambassadorial expulsions—threaten to obscure the dramatic situation facing Bolivia and the urgent need for international support in achieving peaceful resolution of the conflict.
To that end, WOLA calls on the international community, including the U.S. government, to clearly condemn the political violence being instigated in Bolivia by opposition forces, and to offer their full support to comprehensive talks to stop the violence now and to lay the groundwork for reconciliation in Bolivia.