Police forces in Bolivia showed dissent on November 8 as protesters held fast to their positions after 17 days of violent protests over the legitimacy of President Evo Morales' claimed re-election. Bolivian Defense Minister Javier Zabaleta on November 8 agreed that there had been police mutiny in a few regions. However, he rejected the idea of military intervention. Opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho vowed not to leave the capital of La Paz until Morales personally accepts a resignation letter drafted for him. Yet Morales is firm about not resigning.
A group of police officers staged a rebellion in the central city of Cochabamba Friday, demanding the resignation of their commander, who has been accused of siding with Morales' supporters. The 18 officers stood on the roof of the special operations tactical unit, waving flags, and singing the national anthem people in the street cheered. Police in Santa Cruz affixed a sign on their station saying they were in revolt. Other Police officers left the streets and returned to their stations, without explaining why. Morales convened an emergency meeting with his ministers and military high command.
"There is no order. There will be no military operation at this time. It's discarded, There is normalcy in the rest of the country and we hope that services will resume," Zabaleta said.
"Our democracy is at risk from the coup d'etat put in place by violent groups that are attacking the constitutional order," warned Morales on Twitter. The opposition led by Camacho and former President Carlos Mesa is trying to pull down the Government said a Government statement. Bolivia has seen tensions rise since election night when the results count was inexplicably paused for 24 hours. This prompted suspicions among supporters of opposition candidate Carlos Mesa that the incumbent since 2006 has tried to rig the election result. A president in Bolivia serves a five-year term. When final results were declared, Morales had a 10-percentage-point lead over Mesa, just enough to win outright in the first round of the presidential election. Several election watchdog groups disputed the result and raised concern on its authenticity.
(With inputs from agencies)