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Police outside Bolivia’s presidential palace abandon posts and join protests against Evo Morales

Police guards outside the presidential palace in Bolivia left their posts today, allowing anti-government protesters to walk up to the doors of the building.

President Evo Morales was not in the building when police retreated on Saturday, with some of them standing on the roof of a near by police station in a sign of growing discontent among security forces after a disputed election.

Officials in the palace in La Paz were evacuated, leaving only a military presidential guard. Protesters later left the area.

Some police in Bolivia became openly defiant toward the government on Friday, and their protests appeared to be spreading. 

Presidential palace police guards who left their posts stand on the rooftop of a police station just meters away from the government building, in La Paz, Bolivia today 

Police guards outside the presidential palace in Bolivia have left their posts, allowing anti-government protesters to walk up to the doors of the building

Police guards outside the presidential palace in Bolivia have left their posts, allowing anti-government protesters to walk up to the doors of the building

Police against the reelection of President Evo Morales stand on the rooftop of a police station waving national flags near a sign with a message that reads in Spanish: 'The police is with the people', just meters away from the presidential palace, in La Paz, Bolivia, today

Police against the reelection of President Evo Morales stand on the rooftop of a police station waving national flags near a sign with a message that reads in Spanish: ‘The police is with the people’, just meters away from the presidential palace, in La Paz, Bolivia, today 

President Evo Morales was not in the building when police retreated on Saturday, with some of them standing on the roof of a near by police station in a sign of growing discontent among security forces after a disputed election

President Evo Morales was not in the building when police retreated on Saturday, with some of them standing on the roof of a near by police station in a sign of growing discontent among security forces after a disputed election

Police officers gather on a terrace of the police headquarters, during protests against Bolivia's President Evo Morales, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia

Police officers gather on a terrace of the police headquarters, during protests against Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia

Their demands include better working conditions and the resignation of their commander.

Morales claimed he was re-elected in the October 20 vote, but the opposition alleged fraud. 

The dispute triggered nationwide protests, resulting in three deaths and more than 300 injuries.

Police officers salute as the national flag is raised in front of the presidential palace, during a protest against Bolivia's President Evo Morales in La Paz, Bolivia

Police officers salute as the national flag is raised in front of the presidential palace, during a protest against Bolivia’s President Evo Morales in La Paz, Bolivia

Policemen wave the tricolor flag of Bolivia while they retreat to a police station in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Policemen wave the tricolor flag of Bolivia while they retreat to a police station in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Police officers of the Tactical Police Operations Unit (UTOP) wave Bolivian flags while arriving to a police station during a protest against Bolivia's President Evo Morales in La Paz

Police officers of the Tactical Police Operations Unit (UTOP) wave Bolivian flags while arriving to a police station during a protest against Bolivia’s President Evo Morales in La Paz

People take part in a protest against Bolivia's President Evo Morales in La Paz, Bolivia after election controversy sweeps the country

People take part in a protest against Bolivia’s President Evo Morales in La Paz, Bolivia after election controversy sweeps the country

People gather outside the police headquarters as police officers stand on a terrace of the building, during protests against Bolivia's President Evo Morales, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia

People gather outside the police headquarters as police officers stand on a terrace of the building, during protests against Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia

Protesters demands include better working conditions and the resignation of their commander. Morales claimed he was re-elected in the October 20 vote, but the opposition alleged fraud

Protesters demands include better working conditions and the resignation of their commander. Morales claimed he was re-elected in the October 20 vote, but the opposition alleged fraud

Policemen demonstrate with Bolivian flags after retreating to a unit near Murillo Square, where the headquarters of the Bolivian Government and Legislative are located in La Paz

Policemen demonstrate with Bolivian flags after retreating to a unit near Murillo Square, where the headquarters of the Bolivian Government and Legislative are located in La Paz 

Policemen wave a flag of Santa Cruz as they demonstrate at their headquarters in Santa Cruz, in eastern Bolivia today

Policemen wave a flag of Santa Cruz as they demonstrate at their headquarters in Santa Cruz, in eastern Bolivia today

Morales claimed he was re-elected in the October 20 vote, but the opposition alleged fraud. The dispute triggered nationwide protests, resulting in three deaths and more than 300 injuries

Morales claimed he was re-elected in the October 20 vote, but the opposition alleged fraud. The dispute triggered nationwide protests, resulting in three deaths and more than 300 injuries

A group of policemen fly the tricolor flag of Bolivia while retreating to a police station in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia today

A group of policemen fly the tricolor flag of Bolivia while retreating to a police station in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia today

Morales, first elected president in 2006, is seeking to remain in power until 2025 after he took legal action to get around constitutional term limits

Morales, first elected president in 2006, is seeking to remain in power until 2025 after he took legal action to get around constitutional term limits

Defense Minister Javier Zabaleta has downplayed the police protests, saying a 'police mutiny occurred in a few regions'

Defense Minister Javier Zabaleta has downplayed the police protests, saying a ‘police mutiny occurred in a few regions’

The political opposition says there was fraud in the election, an allegation that Morales (pictured) says amounts to an attempt to overthrow Bolivia's rightful government

The political opposition says there was fraud in the election, an allegation that Morales (pictured) says amounts to an attempt to overthrow Bolivia’s rightful government

Defense Minister Javier Zabaleta has downplayed the police protests, saying a ‘police mutiny occurred in a few regions.’

The political opposition says there was fraud in the election, an allegation that Morales says amounts to an attempt to overthrow Bolivia’s rightful government.

On Thursday a Bolivian mayor was doused in red paint and had her hair hacked off by protesters who blamed her for the deaths of two opposition protesters.

Patricia Arce, of the governing Mas party, was dragged out of Vinto town hall on Wednesday and subjected to four hours of degradation in which she was made to kneel and sign her resignation.

Young men carrying batons and wearing masks chanted, ‘Murderess, murderess,’ as they marched Arce to a platform where they cut her hair before the baying mob.

Bolivia has been gripped by deadly protests following President Evo Morales’ election victory over claims it was rigged.

Morales, first elected president in 2006, is seeking to remain in power until 2025 after he took legal action to get around constitutional term limits. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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