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article imageMob seizes mayor in Bolivia drag her in the mud cut her hair

By Ken Hanly     Nov 8, 2019 in Politics
Patricia Arce the mayor of Vinto a city in central Bolivia of about 60,000 was hauled out of the local government building dragged in the streets, splashed with red paint, and had her hair cut by an angry mob last Wednesday.
The masked crowd carried sticks and also hurled stones according to the Telemundo new network.
Arce accused of breaking up anti-government demonstration
The crowd claimed that Arce had bused in supporters of the incumbent President Evo Morales to break up an anti-government demonstration. Two protesters are rumored to have been killed during the fracas. The BBC reported one person killed in the demonstrations: "The person killed in clashes between supporters and opponents of President Morales was identified as 20-year-old student Limbert Guzmán Vasquez. Doctors said Mr Guzmán Vasquez had a fractured skull which may have been caused by an explosive device. He is the third person to be killed since the clashes between the two sides erupted on 20 October. "
Shouting "murder, murder," the mob pushed the mud-covered Arce to the ground and cut her hair before she was finally rescued by police and taken to the hospital.
Arce defiant after attack
Time magazine reports that Arce was defiant even during the mob attack: "In a video circulating on social media, Arce, surrounded by masked protestors said: “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.”
Morales is a member of the MAS party that has been in power since 2006. He declared victory in the Oct. 20 vote but his opposition rival Carlos Mesa called the election a "monumental fraud" claiming it was rigged. His supporters have taken to the streets and clashed with police.
Morales condemned the attack on Arce saying in a tweet: “All my solidarity with our sister, mayor of Vento, Patricia Arce, who was kidnapped and cruelly harassed for expressing and defending her ideals and the principles of the poorest. We condemn the violent actions that cause grief and pain in the Bolivian family."
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