Bible ‘miracle’ saves policeman’s life: Bolivian cop is shot in the chest by protester but bullet is stopped by book in his breast pocket
- Bolivian police officer was shot in the chest during violent clashes in Yapacani
- But the cop was saved by a bible and knuckleduster he kept in his breast pocket
- Police claim the weapon used to shoot the officer was stolen from authorities
- Violence between ex-president Evo Morales loyalists and police struck Bolivia
A Bolivian police officer says his life was saved by a small bible in his pocket after he was shot in the chest during violence clashes with protesters.
The cop said the ‘miraculous’ incident happened when the 9mm round was fired at him in the town of Yapacani yesterday.
Oscar Gutierrez, head of the Special Force of the Fight Against Crime of Santa Cruz, claimed the bullet fired at the officer came from a weapon stolen from police.
Violence erupted between supporters loyal to former president Evo Morales and police in Bolivia’s capital La Paz and in other cities around the country last night, which saw tear gas used by regime forces and missiles thrown back at officers.
The police officer (above) seen talking to Bolivian media. He said his life was ‘miraculously’ saved after he was shot at by protesters and the bullet hit a small bible in his breast pocket
The bible that saved the life of a police officer during violent clashes with protesters can be seen (above) with a bullet hole in the back
The clashes broke out just hours after interim president Jeanine Anez and her new cabinet were sworn into office on Wednesday.
Nearly 450 miles away in the municipality of Yapacani, in the eastern Bolivian region of Santa Cruz, police said they were trying to restore order during the protests.
Officers had been working to open up a road which had been occupied by demonstrators who are reportedly supporters of Morales, who was ousted by the military last week, when the incident occurred.
Gutierrez said the officer was shot in the left part of the chest and ‘had a Bible that stopped the projectile’.
The officer involved, who has not been named told local media that ‘yes, it was a miracle’.
Gutierrez added: ‘He is a young officer whose life was saved miraculously, he was shot by a projectile, I assume of 9mm calibre, and I know the weapons used were stolen from the Bolivian police.’
The knuckleduster which was also in the officer’s breast pocket was damaged after he was shot in the chest in the town of Yapacani
The bible had a small mark on the front and a large hole in the back after a projectile stuck the police officer in the chest
Protesters are said to have shot firearms and used tear gas stolen from the police some days ago when protests first broke out.
After being hit by the projectile, the cop was sent to the city of Santa Cruz in order to undergo medical tests but he will return to work soon as was not injured in the incident, according to local media reports.
Around 30 people were arrested, the majority of whom are not local residents and it is believed that they were taken to Yapacani in order to start riots, police claimed.
Bolivia is in the middle of a social and political crisis after Morales stepped down from the presidency and fled to Mexico.
The turmoil began when commander-in-chief of the Bolivian armed forces, Williams Kaliman, called for the president to leave his post after the Organisation of American States (OAS) reported alleged irregularities in recent elections in the country.