Bolivia: Bolivia Tries to Hold Elections Amid Pandemic, Risking Chaos | Carlos Valdez/Associated Press
Deserted during months of quarantine, the streets of Bolivia are roiling again with protests that have forced the government into an uncomfortable challenge: trying to resolve the country’s long-term political crisis with elections in the middle of a rising pandemic. If plans hold, Bolivia will conduct presidential elections in September, giving former President Evo Morales’ leftist party a chance to return to power after he resigned and fled the country at the end of 2019. The looming vote is increasing political tensions in Bolivia just as the novel coronavirus overwhelms the health system. The capital, La Paz, and other major cities see demonstrations near daily in defiance of antivirus measures. On Tuesday, teachers protested in La Paz. On Wednesday, health workers marched in Santa Cruz, and the streets of Cochabamba were blocked by a variety of groups decrying the government. Protesters rarely follow requirements for social distancing and pack closely together unmasked as they shout anti-government slogans. Police presence is at a minimum because much of the force is sick with the coronavirus.