December 30, 2022, 23:10 PM
December 30, 2022, 23:10 PM
Paradoxically, a Christian symbol became a scene of violence. This Friday, 48 hours after the arrest of the governor of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camacho, the monument to Christ the Redeemer and its surroundings became a battlefield. At the foot of the religious image the fire of burned tiresyesthe roar of firecrackers, the coming and going of stones through the air transformed Santa Cruz into the city of fury.
Until last night, supporters of the Santa Cruz authority continued to face off against the Police. The first skirmishes began at 4:30 p.m., when a group fired rockets at the Santa Cruz Police Department Command.
The authority from Santa Cruz was arrested on Thursday accused of being one of the perpetrators of an alleged coup against former President Evo Morales in 2019. The former president resigned overwhelmed by the social upheaval in the country that broke out after the failed elections that year , which were canceled as there were indications of fraud.
After his arrest, Camacho was put in front of a judge what ordered his preventive detention in the Chonchocoro prison in La Paz, where he remains isolated from the prison population for security reasons.
In this context, on the same Wednesday, the day of the arrest, the followers of the authority openly clashed with the Police. That day even the burning of the Departmental Prosecutor’s Office was registered and other offices of state institutions.
The members of the Civic Committee and the Youth Union were accused by government authorities for having incited these events. But both institutions denied it and They pointed out that the vandalization was carried out by people close to the Governmentso, according to them, it was a self-attack.
Things did not stop there. The anger over Camacho’s arrest continued this Friday. The day before, civic leaders called a 24-hour strike demanding the release of the governor. Until 4:30 p.m., the measure of pressure was lived peacefully.
In the morning, no acts of violence were recorded. But everything changed in the afternoon. The police reinforced their cadres with troops that arrived from Cochabamba to prevent violence from breaking out.
As the afternoon faded, people gathered at the foot of Christ the Redeemer with the idea of reaching the Police Command, which is only meters from the monument. A publication on an unofficial page that supplants the Cruceñista Youth Union encouraged him.
It was in those moments that the spark of violence was ignited. The police officers did not allow the tumult of people who demanded the release of the Santa Cruz authority to pass. With chemical agents and pellets, the uniformed men prevented the passage of the young people, among whom were members of the Youth Union and people who arrived on motorcycles to join the fray.
The Police used chemical agents and pellets against the population / Photo: JCT
Smoke from burning tires and tear gas spread to the streets adjacent to this monument. The fire, the black smoke, the explosion of firecrackers and pellets transformed this religious sculpture into a battlefield.
In the fray, desperate screams of people affected by the chemical agents were heard, which mixed with the expressions of fury of the people increased by the excessive police action.
Detonations of firecrackers and tear gaswhich were spat out by the police’s shotguns, did not stop when the sun went down and the darkness of night came.
Neighbors who live in the vicinity denounce that the police intervention exceeded any limit. Videos show uniformed officers launching gases into condominiums, repressing a group of people sheltered in a bank with pepper spray or beating young people who were arrested.
The violence did not stop, even some houses were affected by the sparks from the rockets that flew through the air and when they fell on the houses they turned into fire.
The flames also consumed three vehicles, which were burned.
Until midnight, more than twenty people were arrested, according to images broadcast by the media, but there is no official report. At the end of this note, the fray continued in the vicinity of El Cristo and the entire northern area.
product of violence a journalist was shot at point-blank range by the police. This is José Enrique Tarqui, a cameraman from Periodismo Somos Todos.
The communicator denounced this fact on social networks. From his body, medical personnel extracted five pellets.
It was not the only aggression against the press. The Unitel press team, which was in the vicinity of the Committee for Santa Cruz, was attacked live. In a recording of that channel, a uniformed man on a motorcycle is observed shooting, a few meters away, against the humanity of Roger Ramos and his cameraman.
After 11:00 p.m. on Friday, when the 24-hour strike was over, the chaos did not stop. The city of rings, which is characterized by its hospitality, became, as Cerati sang, the city of fury.