South America

Bolivian protesters cut off mayor’s hair, cover her in red paint during violence

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Shouting ‘muderer, murdereress’ the mayor was dragged through the streets barefoot. She was then forced to sign a resignation letter.

Opposition protesters have attacked a mayor in Bolivia, dragging her through the streets barefoot, covering her in red paint and forcibly cutting her hair as the violent protests escalate.

The incident unfolded in the Bolivian town of Vinto, where government protesters blocked off a bridge.

It's believed the group heard rumours two opposition protesters had been killed in nearby clashes between anti-government protesters, and supporters of the  Bolivian president, Evo Morales, prompting them to march to the city centre. 

Mayor Patricia Arce escorted from scene by police.
Mayor Patricia Arce escorted from scene by police.
RTV

Protesters accused the Vinto Mayor, Patricia Arce, of having brought in supporters of the president to break the opposition’s blockade.

Ms Arce was also blamed for the reported death of one of the protesters. 

The city mayor was attacked drenched in red paint before being forced to walk through the streets of the town with a metal pole.

Mayor of Vinto, Patricia Arce, speaks to the media after being attacked in the street by a crowd that sprayed her with reddish paint and cut her hair.
Mayor of Vinto, Patricia Arce, speaks to the media after being attacked in the street by a crowd that sprayed her with reddish paint and cut her hair.
EFE

In a video circulating social media, Ms Arce can be heard saying “I’m not afraid to tell my truth. And I’m in a free country. And I’m not going to shut up and if they want to kill me, they kill me. As I’ve said before, for this process of change, I will give my life".

After several hours, Ms Arce was handed over to police who took her to a local health centre.

Three people are confirmed to have died since the clashes erupted on 20 October.

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