Weekly Report - 20 April 2023 (WR-23-16)

BOLIVIA: Struggling to steady the ship

Bolivia’s economy minister, Marcelo Montenegro, tried to assuage public concerns on 19 April, insisting that the economy was going through “an important moment of reconstruction”, while adapting to “a series of difficulties”, such as the pandemic and higher fuel costs, but that there was no fundamental problem. President Luis Arce, meanwhile, maintained that there would be no “devaluation” as “the financial system is totally stable”. The public appears far from convinced. Protesters gathered outside one of Bolivia’s largest banks, Banco Fassil, in Santa Cruz on 19 April after it announced temporary restrictions on withdrawals. Protests could boil over in the days ahead amid mounting public panic that the government is concealing the true scale of the country’s economic difficulties.

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