Bolivian Police Kill 5 Pro-Morales Protesters
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Bolivian Police Kill 5 Pro-Morales Protesters

Authorities did not report any deaths in the riots outside Cochabamba, though it said 100 people were detained. Media reports said eight were wounded. Clashes had broken out earlier in the day in the suburbs of Cochabamba, where thousands of coca growers were trying to reach the city center 18 kilometers (11 miles) away to join a protest against self-proclaimed interim leader Jeanine Anez.  But they were blocked by police, who stopped them from crossing a bridge. Police also attacked the protests in La Paz with tear gas canisters. The demonstrators simultaneously shouted slogans against Anez. Footage of the rallies showed demonstrators running from the teargas-armed police. Schools were closed and fuel deliveries were disrupted by road blocks, Reuters said. Morales was granted asylum in Mexico after being forced to step down on Sunday under pressure from his military and political opponents. He had been declared president for a fourth term in elections back in October. Morales says won’t run in new polls Anez, the Senate vice president, who was not widely known across the country before declaring herself the caretaker head of state on Tuesday, has said Morales would not be welcome as a candidate in any upcoming election. Also on Friday, Morales himself reacted to attempts at stigmatizing his political involvement in the country, saying he would not be standing in such polls. "For the sake of democracy, if they don't want me to take part, I have no problem not taking part in new elections," Morales told Reuters in an interview in Mexico City. "I just wonder why there is so much fear of Evo," he added. He also said it would be for the people to decide the country’s new leader. Morales, meanwhile, said he wanted to return to Bolivia as soon as his resignation was approved by the Bolivian legislature. US intervention Morales said amid the political turmoil created by his detractors, the United States offered to take him by air to, what Washington had told him was, the destination of his choosing. He, however, distrusted the proposal. "The United States had called the foreign minister (of Bolivia) to offer to send us a plane to take us where we wanted. I was sure it would be Guantanamo," he said. The United States, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Germany, and Britain have recognized Anez as interim president. In January, the US also notoriously recognized the presidency of Juan Guaido, who had declared himself the interim leader of Venezuela -- an announcement that was followed by widespread unrest and volatility. After taking over, Anez took the first step towards her government’s foreign policy by recognizing Guaido’s leadership.

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