An elderly human rights activist critical of the Bolivian government has abandoned a 52-day street protest following an agreement with a pro-government group that evicted her from her office and accused her of defending opponents.
The president of the Permanent Assembly of Human Rights of Bolivia (APDHB), Amparo Carvajal, 84, left her protest around midnight on Saturday and announced this Sunday that details of the agreement will be known in the following hours.
“I was willing to leave (the protest) in a box (coffin), but if I walked out it is because what was achieved is important and I consider it good,” she told the newspaper El Deber. “President Luis Arce has had to intervene, I ask for your patience to learn the details,” he added.
Carvajal was evicted 52 days ago from her office in downtown La Paz by fellow leader Edgar Salazar, who claims to be the institution’s legal representative.
The old woman set up a vigil in the street, slept outdoors under winter temperatures that deteriorate her health and 13 days ago she climbed to the roof of the building, where she continued her protest under a precarious plastic tent. “They are going to take me out of here in a box,” she had warned.
He said that at dawn he returned home accompanied by the Spanish consul Guillermo Gil.
The groups that support Carvajal allege that Salazar defends the interests of the government and pro-government groups. Her detractors accuse her of being useful to the right and of defending the so-called “politically persecuted”.
The human rights house has become the loot for two antagonistic groups of pro-government and anti-government activists in a polarized country since the 2019 political crisis, when then-President Evo Morales forced resignation over allegations of voter fraud while seeking a fourth consecutive term. The protests left 37 dead.
Carvajal made a career in the defense of human rights since the military dictatorships of the late 1970s. She was born in Spain and came to Bolivia as a religious to later be linked to social struggles. She has been president of the APDHB for five years.