Amidst ongoing political disturbances and turmoil in the South American nation of Bolivia, the latest report on the arrest of a university student for being critical of the country’s interim government has raised the eyebrows of many, with the Higher University of San Andrés publicly condemning the act as a major free speech violation.
“Student and leftist feminist blogger Alejandra Salinas has been detained with baseless claims of inciting. Her blog Suchel had been critical of the post-coup government. Repression and silencing at its finest,” tweeted a Bolivian solidarity network.
Student and leftist feminist blogger Alejandra Salinas has been detained with baseless claims of inciting.
Her blog Suchel had been critical of the post-coup government. Repression and silencing at its finest. #TodosSomosAleSalinas#BoliviaEnDictadura https://t.co/fmgRFC8q2N
— DMV Bolivia Solidarity Network (@dmvBolivia) January 2, 2020
Here’s a brief glimpse of the current political landscape of Bolivia: The country’s president resigned in November stating that he did so after learning about the fact that he was ordered to be arrested illegally as a part of a “coup” against him; with president Evo Morales gone, there is an interim government functional in Bolivia.
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In an effort to counteract the influence of state media and what she says is fake online activity, Salinas started operating a leftist meme account on Facebook called “Suchel.” After the military coup resulted in a conservative senator being instituted as the nation’s interim president, the followers on Salinas page sky-rocketed.
With traditional media immediately controlled by the "sellout press," Bolivians were forced to turn to social media for real news. 1 info/humor account–Suchel–quickly gained ~10k followers
But now its owner has to close it to stop the rape/death threats against her & her family. pic.twitter.com/bvnvxrFfIh
— Wyatt Reed (@wyattreed13) December 28, 2019
Soon, things took a messy turn and Salinas chose to shut down her meme page after receiving multiple death threats. Not only was Salinas’ family threatened, but she was also accused of provoking violence.
“They say that I promote hate, indoctrinate people. This is just a page that doesn’t even reach 10% of the population in Bolivia I have no power over people,” said Salinas. Several free speech advocates are under the impression that Salinas arrest on December 31st was a blotch on free speech in Bolivia.