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Thursday Nov 07 2019
Web Desk

Bolivian protesters drag town mayor barefoot in streets, forcefully cut her hair

Web Desk
Vinto Mayor Patricia Arce reacts while being dragged to a bridge in Vinto, Bolivia, November 6, 2019. Image: elPeriodico via EPA-EFE/Jorge Abrego

Protesters dragged the mayor of the Bolivian town of Vinto barefoot in the streets and forcefully cut her hair after accusing her of calling in President Evo Morales' supporters to break up their demonstration.

Chanting "murderess, murderess," the opposition protesters attacked Vinto Mayor Patricia Arce — associated with the ruling Mas party — and got hold of her before dousing her in red paint, marching her to a bridge where they forced her to kneel.

Then, the protesters cut her hair and made her sign her own resignation letter. The mob of demonstrators had sprung into action after rumours of two fellow protesters' deaths surfaced — though one was later confirmed.

Vinto Mayor Patricia Arce speaks to the media in Vinto, Bolivia, November 6, 2019. Image: elPeriodico via EPA-EFE/Jorge Abrego

It was alleged that the two protesters had been killed during clashes with President Morales' supporters.

Mayor Arce was subsequently handed over to the police, who sped away with her on a bike. Protesters, however, managed to set her office on fire and smashed the town hall's windows.

Vinto Mayor Patricia Arce speeds away on a motorbike after protesters handed her over to police in Vinto, Bolivia, November 6, 2019. Los Tiempos Bolivia/via REUTERS

The protests are the latest violent clashes between supporters of Morales' government and the opposition demonstrators ahead of Bolivia's October 20 elections.

In total, three people have died in the clashes.