HomeNewsBriefFollowing Protests, Bolivia Deploys 2,300 Soldiers to Patrol Streets
BRIEF

Following Protests, Bolivia Deploys 2,300 Soldiers to Patrol Streets

BOLIVIA / 19 MAR 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

Bolivia's government has deployed 2,300 troops onto the streets of its four largest cities, following protests in El Alto over insecurity connected to the recent murder of two journalists.

The soldiers began carrying out joint patrols with police in La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz on Friday night, as part of the National Safe City Plan. The deployment will last for three months, before being re-evaluated.

"The work of the national police force is insufficient to face [crime], and that's why now we have the participation of the military," President Evo Morales said.

As EFE reports, the move comes after protests over the murder of two journalists in El Alto, a city near La Paz. Some residents have demanded that the government reinstate the death penalty, which was abolished in 1993 for all but exceptional cases, and have threatened to lynch two people arrested in connection with the killings.

InSight Crime Analysis

While putting the army onto the streets of Bolivia's cities could cut crime in the short term, it is unlikely to solve the real issues that lie behind the sense of insecurity in the country. As former Government Minister Saul Lara commented to EFE, "structural problems" will remain after the deployment is over, such as unemployment, poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, drug trafficking, and poor education.

The residents in El Alto are not alone in feeling they cannot trust the police to deal out justice -- there have been 150 lynchings or attempted lynchings in Bolivia since 2009, most of them fatal, according to reports. Dealing with this lack of confidence would require profound reform of the police and judiciary, something the security plan does not address.

Bolivia is one of many countries in the region to use the military in policing roles in recent months, including governments in Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. However, as the Andean Information Network points out, such deployments have been taking place reguarly in Bolivia for more than a decade.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 13 AUG 2021

The US Coast Guard unloaded 27 tons of cocaine after a three-month operation in the Pacific and Caribbean, a massive…

BOLIVIA / 9 JUL 2013

Transparency International's latest corruption survey highlights the extent of police corruption in Latin America, drawing attention to one of the…

BOLIVIA / 9 SEP 2011

The European Union (EU) has announced it will provide an additional 40 million euros in funding to Bolivia in 2012…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.