Following the illegal arrest of Luis Fernando Camacho, the governor of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, last Wednesday, protests against the extreme left-wing regime of Luis Arce increased in the region. Bolivian security forces responded to protesters with tear gas and violence, leaving dozens injured and hundreds arrested.
🇧🇴 | Dictatorship in Bolivia: Agents of the extreme left-wing regime brutally repress demonstrators in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, following the illegal arrest of the governor, Luis Fernando Camacho. pic.twitter.com/a4ePDiOsRY
- La Derecha Diario (@laderechadiario) December 31, 2022
Several public buildings were attacked by Camacho's supporters, according to the Ministry of Government. The demonstrators blame the damage on counter-protesters who support Arce.
My noble and good land is being VIOLATED, by these degenerates of the dictatorship of @LuchoXBolivia and @EDelCastilloDC. They want to keep #SantaCruzBo that's why they got the leader of the cruceños @LuisFerCamachoV @ElgobernadorLfc out of the way #LiberenACamacho pic.twitter.com/FvF4Vdfedn
- Eva Sara Landau (@EvaSaraLandau) January 1, 2023
Camacho remains in prison with very poor conditions
Meanwhile, Camacho continues to be held in terrible conditions in the maximum security prison of Chonchocoro, some 20 miles from La Paz, according to sources. The Bolivian courts sentenced the governor of Santa Cruz to four months in prison after he was investigated for his alleged involvement in the so-called "coup d'état" of 2019, which led former President Evo Morales to resign from office.
Through social media, Camacho's colleagues published a handwritten letter from the governor of Santa Cruz himself in which he assures that he will continue to fight against Arce's Marxist regime:
Tell my people that every day that passes I am stronger than ever, and that despite my illness at no time will it be a reason or excuse to sell or negotiate my principles.
Letter from Governor Luis Fernando Camacho Vaca to his people. pic.twitter.com/65oiF37OHA
- Luis Fernando Camacho (@LuisFerCamachoV) January 1, 2023
Camacho, who suffers from a chronic disease that affects his veins and arteries, added that whatever happens to him will be the responsibility of Arce and his government:
What I do make clear is that whether due to my illness or any other reason that causes my death, it will have a first and last name, Luis Arce Catacora.
"His life is at risk"
Senator Henry Montero, Camacho's colleague, assured that the governor is in a delicate state of health, to such an extent that there are fears for his life:
Due to the inability and incompetence of the authorities of the Penitentiary Regime, for not providing him with medication, the governor is in an imminent state of seriousness and his life is at risk. He has had nosebleeds and has not been able to be evacuated or receive assistance because the Ponchos Rojos are outside the prison. If anything should happen to the governor's life, they have a name and last name. Arce Catacora and the Minister of Government are the criminals, those who commit an attempt against his health.
Montero also pointed out that "he has altered vital signs and nosebleeds... His arteries and veins are inflamed, he already has damage at pulmonary level, even more so at altitude."
Jorge Tuto Quiroga and Carlos de Mesa, two former presidents of Bolivia, signed a letter together with other political representatives of the country in which they point out that Camacho's arrest is "a fact of the utmost gravity for the future of our democracy."
Leaders, former leaders and authorities of #Bolivia repudiate the kidnapping and arbitrary imprisonment of @LuisFerCamachoV.
I ask @CIDH, GIEI and @UNHumanRights: Is it possible to strike a blow against an elected governor with the classification of "terrorism", the one you are asking to repeal? pic.twitter.com/w4OJEFgOLi
- Tuto Quiroga (@tutoquiroga) December 31, 2022
Numerous former presidents of Latin American countries such as Andrés Pastrana, Mauricio Macri or Felipe Calderón condemned the "detentions and prosecutions of political opponents" and urged different American organizations to "urgently take the necessary steps for the arbitrary detention of Governor Camacho."
Twenty-five Former Presidents signed the Declaration of the @IDEA_Group on the arbitrary detention of the Governor of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Luis Fernando Camacho. pic.twitter.com/kXfluF41Oz
- Andrés Pastrana A (@AndresPastrana_) December 31, 2022
Arce in Brazil
In the midst of the wave of tension generated by the arrest of Camacho, Luis Arce was present this Sunday at the inauguration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as the new president of Brazil.
Congratulations President @LulaOfficial and dear people of #Brazil🇧🇷. Now, yes, the road to Latin American integration opens wider than ever, so that our peoples can walk hand in hand towards peace and development with social justice. pic.twitter.com/yTBaxjiwkH
- Luis Alberto Arce Catacora (Lucho Arce) (@LuchoXBolivia) January 2, 2023