Bolivia: Mayor dragged through streets and has hair cut off during protests

7 November 2019, 18:29 | Updated: 7 November 2019, 19:31

The mayor of a small Bolivian town has been dragged through the streets during violent protests against the country's president.

Patricia Arce Guzman, of the Al Socialismo Movement (MAS), was physically removed from her office in Vinto and forced to walk barefoot, according to local news reports.

She said that the protesters had beaten her, cut her hair and thrown red paint over her.

They accused her of bussing in supporters of the president in an effort to break a blockade they had set up.

After several hours she was handed over to police, who took her to a local health centre.

Vinto is in Cochabamba province in central Bolivia and it has been the scene of protests like many other Bolivian centres following the presidential election on 20 October.

Incumbent Evo Morales declared himself the winner but his party has been accused of voting fraud.

The leftist leader also refused to accept the results of a 2016 referendum which would have limited presidential terms. It was only after a decision by the country's top electoral court that he was allowed to seek a fourth term.

Three people have been killed in the resulting protests.

The most recent, 20-year-old student Limbert Guzman, died in the city of Cochabamba after clashes between supporters and critics of the president.

About 90 people have been injured.

The United Nations has called for "dialogue and peace", with its office in the country adding: "Nothing justifies clashes between Bolivians, and the death of citizens is unconceivable."