Bolivians campaign in London for awareness after contested 2019 election

A new campaign has been launched to educate the public on Bolivia’s recent history and ask for justice following the country’s contested 2019 election.

Wiphalas Across the World is a campaign group organised by Bolivians living in the UK who want more people to know about the violent aftermath of the November 2019 election.

The 14-day long campaign was launched last Friday with a virtual exhibition of a mural in Shoreditch, which depicts the events and will continue over the next two weeks with panels on indigenous people’s rights and the role of the international community.

Campaign leader Claudia Turbet-Delof said: “We are working to empower ourselves, to gain the respect of others and not be made to feel invisible.

“We are not protesting in the streets: instead, we’re working to raise awareness and educate people.

“We want to shed light on the impact of international interference in countries like Bolivia.”

For the activist, it is important that her neighbours in the UK, where she has lived for many years, know the impact of international interference in other sovereign states.

The group argues the electoral aftermath, which resulted in then-president Evo Morales’s exile, was a coup, a position backed by research from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, an American think-thank, but countered by the Organization of American States.

According to Human Rights Watch, nobody has been held responsible for 36 killings during the protest that ensued the election, including 20 people who died in two massacres that witnesses attributed to state forces opening fire against protesters.

Among the group’s staunch supporters is former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn said: “In 2019, the Wiphala flag became known as a symbol of resistance against oppression across the world in the aftermath of a right-wing coup in Bolivia.

“The world was inspired by the Bolivian people’s insistence on sovereignty, democracy and social progress and determination to overturn the coup through mass mobilisations and at the ballot box. 

“I’m proud to support Wiphalas Across the World’s work in London, their recent launch of public artwork to commemorate the Bolivian coup’s victims, and their broader solidarity work with Latin American communities everywhere.”

Wiphalas Across the World will continue its work with online events that can be accessed freely.

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