Bolivia – Social outbreaks also affect Salesian works

07 November 2019

(ANS - La Paz) – The social protests in Bolivia are increasing, heightening in intensity. It all started after the disputed October 20 elections, which eventually established the incumbent President, Evo Morales, as the winner. But the opposition rejected the result, denouncing the elections as manipulated, thus allowing the President to achieve his fourth consecutive term. Yesterday, November 6, social tensions also directly affected a Salesian institute, where the police fired tear gas.

The protests started again in the country's main cities and the Archdiocese of La Paz took the side of the people affected by the violence; on its Facebook page, it shared some photos, stating: “Before the tense situation in the city center, (we) launch a call for (special) attention from educational institutions, especially regarding the use of chemical agents. This afternoon this happened in the Don Bosco Educational Unit 'El Prado'; we don't want violence, we are grieved to show these images that affect our children, where they normally follow the lessons. We pray for peace in Bolivia.” At the same time, the archdiocese is defending itself against accusations by the government of its promoting protests.

The reference of the message of the Archdiocese of La Paz is precisely the Salesian Institute "Don Bosco El Prado", which suffered the violence of the protests directly and that yesterday, Wednesday 6 November, had to close the doors, after the police detonated 5 tear gas grenades inside the school, putting the safety of everyone, the approximately 1,000 students, teachers and administrative staff, at risk

The students, who were doing their ordinary scholastic activities, experienced moments of anxiety and confusion caused by the tear gas. Hours later, the Red Cross and the Fire Brigade arrived to intervene against what looked like a possible fire inside the educational institution.

“It is something incredible, unbelievable ... Anything could have happened due to the chaos that then arose, in addition to the damage caused by the gases. Who are the security forces giving security to?” - said the Director of the Institute, Fr José Iriarte.

The situation in Bolivia is not very different from the wave of protests that are affecting various Latin American countries where the Salesian presence is very significant. The Salesians, in addition to always being close to the people who are suffering, are seeking to promote paths of dialogue and peaceful mobilization.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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