Bolivia lost nearly $ 170 million in two weeks of protests

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Bolivian economy lost $ 167 million in the first two weeks of the strike and protests by opponents of the country’s re-election of Evo Morales, said Economy Minister Luis Arce.

Oppositionists in Bolivia contesting the results of the presidential election on October 22 announced the start of an indefinite strike in the city of Santa Cruz, the country’s economic center.

“We calculated … along with data provided by INE (National Institute of Statistics) that over the 14 days the country lost $ 167 million,” Red Patria Nueva quoted Arce as saying.

According to the minister, the strike hit the transport and trade sectors, as well as government services, which together lost an average of almost $ 12 million a day until Monday.

Arce stressed that the damage will only increase and will affect the country’s GDP if the closure of state institutions and borders is announced.

According to the Bolivian High Election Court, the incumbent president Evo Morales won the first round. His main rival, Carlos Mesa, did not recognize the results of the count. Protests began in the country and escalated into violent riots in many regions. Opposition protesters set fire to at least one regional branch of the Electoral Court. A video of a burning building in Potosi, mountains of glowing ballots in Tarija and bonfires in front of the electoral commission in Cochabamba spread on social networks and local media.

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