Protesters occupy state media and a union radio in Bolivia


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A mob of protesters occupied the facilities of two Bolivian state media on Saturday, Bolivia TV and Radio Patria Nueva, and forced their employees to leave them, accusing them of serving the interests of the Evo Morales government, a senior executive told AFP .

"We have been forcibly evicted after receiving constant threats from people who concentrated on the outskirts" of the headquarters of both media and then came in to "try to force us to suspend transmissions," the director told AFP by telephone of Radio Patria Nueva, Ivan Maldonado.

President Morales denounced in a tweet the intervention of state media. "They say they defend democracy, but they act as dictatorship," said the president, who the opposition accuses of having manipulated the results of the October elections, which gave him the victory in the first round for a fourth consecutive term.

Shortly after, a radio of the farmers' union (CSUTCB) was also occupied by protesters, according to another tweet from the indigenous leftist president.

Also read: Governor and mayor official resign from violence in Bolivia

"As a member of the CSUTCB, the parent organization of the indigenous peasant movement of the Pact of Unity, I denounce the cowardly and savage attack on the radio of that confederation. In the style of military dictatorships, the coup attack attack union headquarters," he wrote .

Regarding the taking of state media, Maldonado said that among the protesters were the leader of the Conade citizen collective, Waldo Albarracin, and the ex-defense of the People, Rolando Villena, of the same group.

Albarracin and Villena are part of the civil movement that demands the resignation of President Evo Morales after elections that the opposition calls fraudulent.

None of the aforementioned could be contacted by the AFP.

In a telephone recording sent by Maldonado to the AFP, an individual, who identifies himself as part of "a monitoring committee", threatens to take both means if they do not cut their emissions.

About 40 employees left the building that occupy both media in downtown La Paz, holding hands and among insults by some 300 people gathered in the place.

Bolivia TV and Radio Patria Nueva broadcasts are only airing with music after the incident.

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