People wander aimlessly through the empty streets of Bolivia´s historic capitol. The normally traffic choked avenues are filled with an ominous silence, indicative of recent events within the troubled nation.
With the majority of businesses and schools closed due to road blockades, hard working locals find themselves with nothing but time on their hands. Couples stroll through sunny parks holding hands while children ride bicycles through the streets.
However these tranquil scenes reveal nothing of the growing coup d´etat against the government that wages daily.
A rebellion that has become violent and has even resulted in deaths.
After a tense and highly anticipated presidential election that took place on the 21st of October; this usually quiet pastoral nation has seen escalating anti-government protests with no end in sight.
A decision was made by protest leaders in most major cities on Monday the 28th of October that the country would take any action necessary to over-throw their recently “re-elected” president, Evo Morales.
Total road closures across the country have been in effect since Wednesday the 23rd and the de facto leader Morales has threatened military action against his own people as a means to, as he put it, “restore order” in the country.
Government buildings in which the election results were tallyed have been broken into and burned down by protesters from departments as far as Pando to Potosi. Angry citizens have taken to to the streets in the wake of a large and obvious mistake discovered during the voting process.
This powder keg of rebellion was ignited while the election was still under way by the results displayed on the OEP voter count website, which were revealed to be in complete contradiction to different numbers being broadcast all over local news stations. People quickly demanded an investigation into the infraction.
An inquest into the discrepancy was done by Luis Almagro, president of the Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), who also happens to be a personal friends of Evo Morales. He declared after a brief investigation there was no evidence of fraud found in the election process.
However Almagro was not the only one investigating the claims.
A systems engineer named Edgar Villegas from the University of San Andres in La Paz lead a team tasked with scrutnizing the machines used to tally the votes and the results they found were shocking.
The machines had suddenly and suspiciously stopped couting votes for Carlos Mesa, Morales´s leading opponent, almost immediately after the OEP website showed that he was winning.
Proof of fraud had been found.
With the entire country whipped into a frenzy, demands for a new election have been heard from quiet pueblos to the largest cities in the nation.
The now exposed Morales replied with a resounding NO to the insistent and reasonable requests of his people, who want nothing more than a fair election and democracy.
As it stands, it would appear a dictator has siezed control of the democratic process in Bolivia, leaving their people desperate and struggling for justice amist a resounding lack of international support.