Bolivia gets back to normal after weeks of unrest

Update: November, 26/2019 - 11:32

LA PAZ — Bolivia slowly resumed normal activities on Monday, with schools and businesses reopening after weeks of disruptive protests, as the country prepares for new elections without ex-president Evo Morales.

Traffic was heavy in La Paz, the epicenter of demonstrations that have raged since a disputed October 20 presidential election, after gas stations were able to replenish fuel supplies.

Schools re-opened while most supermarkets and restaurants were operating normally in the seat of government as shortages eased.

"We are returning to normal after something very hard and very dramatic," interim President Jeanine Anez told reporters Monday, a day after signing a law authorising new elections seen as crucial to ending unrest in the landlocked country. 

Mother-of-two Jazmin Chavez said her children were pleased to be back at school after nearly a month stuck at home. 

"They are happy, they have returned to class, they have seen their friends again," Chavez, 34, said.

Blockades on major transport routes have been mostly removed, officials said, except in the central coca-growing region of Chapare, where farmers loyal to Morales continue obstructing a key highway.

They are demanding justice for nine protesters killed during clashes with police on November 15. 

"There are still roadblocks at different points despite an agreement signed" Sunday with the government to lift them, Franz Celis, a deputy police commander in Cochabamba, told reporters. 

Ongoing talks between the caretaker government and opposition groups in La Paz aimed at ending the country's worst crisis in 16 years appear to be defusing tensions. — AFP 

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