Bolivian mob attacks politician, cuts her hair, cover her in paint and force her to march barefoot

The mayor of the Bolivian town of Vinto and member of his ruling Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, Patricia Arce, is being humiliated by a mob of opposition supporters, in Vinto, close to Cochabamba, on November 6, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 08 November 2019

Bolivian mob attacks politician, cuts her hair, cover her in paint and force her to march barefoot

  • The opposition mob stormed the municipal headquarters and dragged the mayor into the street before setting the building ablaze

LA PAZ: Bolivia’s President Evo Morales condemned on Thursday an attack on a female mayor in which an opposition mob forcibly cut her hair, covered her in paint and marched her barefoot through the streets.
Bolivia has been rocked by deadly post-election violence over opposition claims that Morales rigged his re-election last month.
A 20-year-old student died in clashes Wednesday between pro- and anti-government demonstrators in the central city of Cochabamba, bringing the overall toll to three dead since the October 20 election.
In nearby Vinto, an opposition mob stormed the municipal headquarters and dragged the mayor, Patricia Arce, into the street before setting the building ablaze.
Morales said in a tweet Thursday that Arce — a member of his ruling Movement for Socialism (MAS) party — had been “cruelly abducted for expressing and defending her ideals and the principles of the poorest.”
Television images showed her on the ground, her hair cut, and covered in red paint. She was dragged and forced to walk barefoot through the town by the mob, before being rescued by police on motorcycles.
Morales’ party demanded the police bring the perpetrators to justice.
Arce’s office told local media Thursday the mayor “is recovering” from her ordeal.
“For these people, being a woman is a crime, being humble is a crime, having a skirt is a crime, said Vice President Alvaro Garcia.
“This has never happened in our democracy. That is called fascism: attacking women, assaulting them for their ethnic status. What Bolivia is facing is a fascist wave.”
The Women’s Social Organizations, linked to the ruling party, expressed “outrage” at the attack, and “for all the insults of hatred, racism, discrimination and violence” of the opposition.

 


Taliban say prisoner swap promised by Kabul fails to happen

Updated 5 min 21 sec ago

Taliban say prisoner swap promised by Kabul fails to happen

  • The three Taliban prisoners included Anas Haqqani, the younger brother of the Taliban’s deputy chief Sirajuddin Haqqani, who leads the fearsome Haqqani militant network
  • They were to be exchanged for American University of Afghanistan professors, American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks

ISLAMABAD: Three Taliban prisoners who were to be freed in exchange for an American and an Australian national, both kidnapped in 2016, are still in custody in Bagram prison, north of the capital Kabul, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Friday.
The three Taliban prisoners did not show up at an exchange site that had been agreed upon with the US, though Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said they would be freed.
Mujahid had no explanation for the no-show.
The three Taliban prisoners included Anas Haqqani, the younger brother of the Taliban’s deputy chief Sirajuddin Haqqani, who leads the fearsome Haqqani militant network. They were to be exchanged for American University of Afghanistan professors, American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks.
Mujahid said the professors are still in Taliban custody.
In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, Ghani said the “conditional release” was a very hard decision to make.
Prisoner releases were a key point during peace talks between the US and Taliban last year. US President Donald Trump abruptly ended the talks in September, following a spate of violent attacks in Kabul that killed more than a dozen people, including a US soldier.
The prisoner exchange was seen as a possible door to restarting the talks. US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has crisscrossed the region in recent weeks meeting with Washington’s NATO allies, as well as Russia, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
President Ghani has repeatedly demanded his government be included in talks with the Taliban, who have refused saying the Afghan government is an American puppet.
Ghani is now in the middle of a controversial contest for his job as president following Afghanistan’s Sept. 28 elections, which drew allegations of widespread misconduct and fraud.
Preliminary results were supposed to be released on Thursday, but have once again been postponed.
Ghani had hoped a big win in the presidential polls would solidify his political position, but the recount of ballots has been challenged by his main rival, Abdullah Abdullah, who shares power in Afghanistan’s coalition government.
That government was cobbled together after the 2014 presidential elections, which were so deeply overwhelmed by allegations of fraud that the United States stepped in to broker a power sharing agreement between Abdullah and Ghani.