Morales leads outrage over humiliating attack on Bolivian mayor

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LA PAZ, Nov 8, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Bolivia’s President Evo Morales condemned
Thursday an attack on a female mayor in which an opposition mob forcibly cut
her hair, covered her in paint and marched her barefoot through the streets.

Bolivia has been rocked by deadly post-election violence over opposition
claims that Morales rigged his re-election last month.

A 20-year-old student died in clashes Wednesday between pro- and anti-
government demonstrators in the central city of Cochabamba, bringing the
overall toll to three dead since the October 20 election.

In nearby Vinto, an opposition mob stormed the municipal headquarters and
dragged the mayor, Patricia Arce, into the street before setting the building
ablaze.

Morales said in a tweet Thursday that Arce — a member of his ruling
Movement for Socialism (MAS) party — had been “cruelly abducted for
expressing and defending her ideals and the principles of the poorest.”

Television images showed her on the ground, her hair cut, and covered in
red paint. She was dragged and forced to walk barefoot through the town by
the mob, before being rescued by police on motorcycles.

Morales’ party demanded the police bring the perpetrators to justice.

Arce’s office told local media Thursday the mayor “is recovering” from her
ordeal.

“For these people, being a woman is a crime, being humble is a crime,
having a skirt is a crime, said Vice President Alvaro Garcia.

“This has never happened in our democracy. That is called fascism:
attacking women, assaulting them for their ethnic status. What Bolivia is
facing is a fascist wave.”

The Women’s Social Organizations, linked to the ruling party, expressed
“outrage” at the attack, and “for all the insults of hatred, racism,
discrimination and violence” of the opposition.

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