Bolivia: after 15 days of protests, food and fuel shortages threaten the inhabitants of Santa Cruz

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The Bolivian government of Luis Arce, together with mayors and governors of other departments, opened a dialogue table this Friday to technically define the date of the census , after failed dialogue attempts

 Bolivia: after 15 days of protests, food and fuel shortages threaten the inhabitants of Santa Cruz

After 13 days of strike, food and fuel shortages threaten the inhabitants of Santa Cruz. (REUTERS)

The shortage of food and fuel in the Bolivian town of Santa Cruz, isolated by protests since last October 22, is alarming to its inhabitants, while the government and the opposition are trying to agree on the date of a controversial population census starting this Friday.

“You go to the supply market and it's incredible how things have gone up more than 100%, by 200%. Fruits, vegetables are scarce, rice, all groceries. It's incredible how much it has risen,” Sofía Chávez told the AFP agency.

This 41-year-old domestic worker points out that one of the main problems is the scarcity of fuel to transport food from the countryside to the city.

For her part, Clara Cuéllar, a 43-year-old housewife, considers that “ The products of the family basket and gasoline do not enter, it is practically the fault of the government”.

The fuel processing plants have not been able to dispatch gasoline and diesel in tank trucks that distribute them to fuel stations, as a result of street blockades.

In places where diesel and gasoline are sold, there are huge lines of vehicles waiting for some fuel, AFP found.

< p class="paragraph">The Ministry of Economy said this Friday that the economic losses, due to the protests, add up to “503.7 million” dollars.

Bolivia: after 15 days of protests, the shortage of food and fuel threatens the inhabitants of Santa Cruz

The Ministry of Economy said this Friday that the economic losses, due to the protests, add up to “503.7 million” dollars. (EFE)

Santa Cruz, Bolivia's economic locomotive and stronghold of the right-wing opposition, began a strike on October 22 that began with protests, mainly blocking roads, avenues and interdepartmental highways, to demand that the leftist government of President Luis Arce advance to 2023 a census set for 2024.

The Executive has indicated that there are no technical conditions for a census in 2023 , but yes in 2024.

The government and Santa Cruz, along with mayors and governors from other departments, opened a dialogue table this Friday to technically define the date of the census, after failed attempts at dialogue.

Arce, opening the meeting, said that the government will respect the agreement that emerges.

If there is no agreement, Santa Cruzanticipated that it will maintain its protests and other sectors, such as carriers, announced that they will block international roads from next Monday.

Since the protests began, one death and several injuries have been recorded.< /p>

Bolivia: after 15 days of protests, food and fuel shortages threaten the inhabitants of Santa Cruz

The government and Santa Cruz, together with mayors and governors of other departments, opened a dialogue table this Friday to technically define the date of the census, after failed attempts at dialogue.

The Bolivian president, Luis Arce denounced that the Census is used to “destabilize the government and overthrow it”.

“This political view of the census issue unfortunately generated a political approach, since it was not only used as an instrument to destabilize the government, but also seeks to overthrow it,” warned the president, according to statements collected by ABI.

In this sense, he explained that the date defined by the technical table will be binding for the government, clarifying that “it is not subject to negotiation” no possibility of marginalizing some Bolivian from the census “because of the date issue”.

“It would not be democratic or responsible to stop the census, for For this, and within the schedule of activities that we had previously defined and arranged, we convened this technical table, whose main reason is to discuss all those factors that are going to intervene in carrying out the national census and determine the date of the population and housing census in an absolutely technique”, former applied.

(With information from AFP and Europa Press)

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