Bolivia’s capital La Paz was rocked by violent clashes overnight with buildings set on fire in apparent retaliatory attacks after Evo Morales, the country’s president since 2006, resigned under pressure over a disputed election last month.
Morales said on Sunday he would step down to ease violence that has gripped the South American nation since a disputed election, though he stoked fears of more unrest by lashing out at a “civic coup” against him and saying his home had been attacked.
Tensions around the country, which have been simmering for weeks, mounted late into the night amid a political vacuum after Morales, his Vice President and many of his political allies in government stepped down.
In the capital and the eastern city of Santa Cruz, crowds cheered the resignation of Morales, who drew ire by running for a fourth term in defiance of term limits before claiming victory in an election mired in allegations of fraud.
But as night fell gangs roamed the streets, looting businesses and setting fire to properties. Prominent opposition figure and academic Waldo Albarracin tweeted that his house had been burned by pro-Morales supporters.
Meanwhile, the EU’s diplomatic chief also urged all sides in Bolivia to exercise “restraint and responsibility” in a statement yesterday.