LatinNews Daily - 03 January 2023

In brief: Camacho’s arrest sparks protests in Bolivia

* Anti-government protesters in Bolivia’s eastern department of Santa Cruz have blocked highways and clashed with police in protest at the arrest on 28 December of the department’s governor and leader of the right-wing opposition party Creemos, Luis Fernando Camacho. Camacho, who was sentenced to four months’ preventive detention on 30 December, has been accused by the attorney general’s office of “terrorism” in relation to the alleged coup d’état of November 2019, when former president Evo Morales (2006-2019) was ousted following a disputed election and succeeded by the now-imprisoned Jeanine Áñez (2019-2020). Protests broke out shortly after Camacho’s arrest and have now continued for six days, with protesters blocking highways and clashing with police. The opposition-affiliated departmental business lobby Comité pro Santa Cruz held a 24-hour general strike on 30 December to demand Camacho’s immediate release, and accused President Luis Arce of seeking to “provoke confrontation and chaos in order to militarise” Santa Cruz, which has long been the main centre of opposition to the left-wing Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) government.

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