Photos and Update on Police Mutiny
The police mutiny continued to escalate over the weekend and shows no sign of stopping. The government and police entered dialogue on Saturday, June 23 but the agreement that was reached in the early hours of June 24th was resoundingly rejected by protesters. On June 25th, police had a violent clash with supporters of President Morales. The government deployed military to the streets but there have not been clashes between military and police so far. The Morales administration is accusing the police mutiny of having political motives of toppling the government, while police leaders insist all they want is a fair salary.
Demands as of June 25th
- Raise the minimum salary to 2,000 bolivianos (about $287 USD), which would be a 654 bolivianos ($95 USD) raise from the average of from the average of around $194 USD a month. This would make police salaries comparable to those of the armed forces.
- Retirement with 100% of their salary
- Repeal of Law 101, which police wives call a “Gag Rule.” They assert that it takes away low-ranking officials’ right to defense and due process as guaranteed by the constitution
- The creation of a police ombudsmen.
- Some are also calling for the resignation of National Police Commander Maldonado.
- Police entered dialogue with government that lasted into the dawn of the 24th.
- Minister of Government Carlos Romero announced that he had reached an agreement overnight with police leaders. However, in the morning, police officers in La Paz rejected the agreement, burned the documents, and said they would elect new leaders. They protested in Plaza Murillo afterward. Officers in Cochabamba, Tarija, Beni, Potosí, and Oruro also rejected the agreement.
- The deal brokered between Romero would have raised the police salary 220 bolivianos per month, roughly $32 USD. However, police stuck to their demand that the minimum police salary be raised to 2,000 bolivianos (about $287 USD), which would be a 654 bolivianos ($95 USD) raise from the average of from the average of around $194 USD a month.
- The Bolivian government deployed military to the street, ostensibly to maintain public order and protect private property.
- Police are also calling for the resignation of National Police Commander Maldonado.
- President Morales and Vice-President García Linera have accused the mutiny of having a political motivation rather than a labor motivation, and of laying the grounds for a coup d’état.
- Five police bases initiated a hunger strike in Cochabamba in the UTOP building.
- The government said it will not recognize the new leaders selected for dialogue.
- Social groups who support Evo Morales gathered in Plaza Murillo today to confront rebelling police, including the National Confederation of Neighborhood Organizations and the Intercultural Federation of Bolivia. Rebelling police maintained control of the Plaza.
- Vice-President Linera accused police of stockpiling arms and trying to provoke deaths to generate support for a coup. Communications Minister Amanda Dávila claimed that intelligence exists about a plan, “Plan TIPNIS,” that would have activated various low-ranking officials to reject the agreement signed with government and unified the police mutiny with the demands of the TIPNIS march in an effort to destabilize the Morales government. Claim seems wildly conspiratorial and unsubstantiated. Minister of Interior Jorge Perez claims there are people who have infiltrated the police movement with the intention of destabilizing the presidency and are just using the police for political gain.
Police Mutiny in Photos
Esposas de los policías en huelga de hambre instalado ayer en Cochabamba. – Carlos López Gamboa Los Tiempos
Police wives on hunger strike, initiated yesterday [June 19] in Cochabamba.
Policías de base golpean a un oficial en una calle aledaña a la plaza Murillo, en la sede de gobierno, ayer – Efe Agencia.
Low-ranking police beat an official in a street next to Plaza Murillo, the seat of the government, yesterday [June 21].
Policías, con el apoyo de sus esposas, ocupan violentamente un cuartel policial en La Paz.| Foto archivo – Efe Agencia
Police, with the support of their spouses, violently occupy a police barracks in La Paz.
Las oficinas de Inteligencia fueron quemadas en horas de la mañana. Foto. APG
The offices of Intelligence were burned in the morning.
Policías saquean y queman la sede de Inteligencia
Police sacked and burned the intelligence headquarters.
Sublevación. A las 12:56 se inicia la toma de las instalaciones de la UTOP en la sede de Gobierno. La revuelta fue encabezada por policías y la dirigente Guadalupe Cárdenas. Hubo gasificación y violencia
Uprising. At 12:56 the takeover of UTOP offices was instigated at the seat of government. The revolt was lead by police and leader Guadapule Cárdenas. There was tear gassing and violence.
Trinidad. Saqueos del Comando
Trinidad. Sacking of the Command.
Policías de Cochabamba continúan en motín. – Hernán Andia Los Tiempos
Police in Cochabamba continue the mutiny.
Policías encubiertos protestan en las calles de La Paz, ayer. – Apg Agencia
Police with covered faces protest in the streets of La Paz yesterday [June 24].
Peleas y agresiones en inmediaciones de plaza Murillo
Fights and aggression near Plaza Murillo.