Bolivia volatile

This item appears on page 17 of the November 2008 issue.

The Department of State suggests that nonessential travel to Bolivia be deferred.

In late August-early September, opposition to the central government’s policies by five of the nine departments (Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Chuquisaca and Tarija) turned increasingly violent. Hunger strikes, marches and roadblocks became violent as pro-government and opposition forces attempted to consolidate or impede control of government buildings and facilities such as gas and oil pipelines.

At press time, nearly 30 people had died and 100-plus had been seriously injured. Police and military police had lost control of the situation in some areas of those departments, and gas, diesel and other essential items were becoming unavailable.

Travelers in vehicles should not attempt to pass through or around roadblocks, even if they appear unattended.