Bolivia’s capital La Paz was rocked by violent clashes overnight with buildings set on fire in apparent retaliatory attacks after Evo Morales, the country’s president since 2006, resigned under pressure over a disputed election last month.
Following the resignation, images and videos of vandals ransacking the house of the former President's house in the Villa Victoria neighbourhood of the city of Cochabamba went viral.
Social media was rife with videos of violent protesters breaking and entering the home and looting its contents. Bolivian journalist Joaquín López-Dóriga shared one such video with the caption, "A video circulates in networks where you can see how Evo Morales's house looked".
Houses and effigies of opposition leaders as well as journalists were set on fire.
Descontrol en Bolivia: saquearon la casa de Evo Morales e incendiaron las de dirigentes opositores y periodistas https://t.co/oBhwfGeuwJ pic.twitter.com/OeOORnhqZc— Infobae América (@InfobaeAmerica) November 11, 2019
#Urgente #LaPazDenuncian que personas prendieron fuego a la casa de la periodista Casimira Lema, quien trabaja en Televisión Universitaria de La Paz. Piden ayuda. pic.twitter.com/3MtiCxvGhi— Los Tiempos (@LosTiemposBol) November 11, 2019
Morales said on Sunday he would step down to ease violence that has gripped the South American nation since a disputed election, though he stoked fears of more unrest by lashing out at a “civic coup” against him and saying his home had been attacked.
Tensions around the country, which have been simmering for weeks, mounted late into the night amid a political vacuum after Morales, his Vice President and many of his political allies in government stepped down.
In the capital and the eastern city of Santa Cruz, crowds cheered the resignation of Morales, who drew ire by running for a fourth term in defiance of term limits before claiming victory in an election mired in allegations of fraud.
(With inputs from Reuters)