Government urges Canadians to 'avoid all non-essential travel' to Bolivia

Police dismantle a burning barricade during a protest against the reelection of President Evo Morales, in La Paz, Bolivia, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. The United Nations on Thursday urged Bolivia's government and opposition to restore "dialogue and peace" after a third person was killed in street clashes that erupted after a disputed presidential election on Oct. 20. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

The Canadian government has issued a travel advisory for Bolivia due to safety and security concerns during protests in the country.

The government is urging Canadians to “avoid non-essential travel to Bolivia due to political uncertainty, nationwide protests, roadblocks and civil unrest.”

“The political situation is currently volatile and unpredictable in Bolivia, especially since President’s resignation on November 10,” the statement from the Canadians government reads.

Protests began in advance of the Oct. 20 general election in the country, significantly ramping up and becoming more dangerous following the vote, when opponents said there was tampering with the results, which saw Evo Morales elected as president.

During these demonstrations, the mayor of the town of Vinto, Patricia Arce, was beaten, dragged through the streets, covered in red paint and had her hair cut by masked protestors last week.

Morales has now resigned and the new interim Bolivian leader, senate vice-president and conservative Jeanine Anez, plans to hold another election “soon.”

The Canadian government is recommending that travellers currently in the country limit movements, remain cautious, and avoid protest areas and side streets.

Visitors should follow the instructions of local authorities, avoid crossing road blockades, monitor local media for updates on the protests and contact airline or tour operations to determine if there are any disruptions to travel plans.