Bolivia's Court Orders Pre-Trial Detention For 7 People For Attacking Oil Refinery

MEXICO CITY (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 23rd November, 2019) A court in Bolivia's second-largest city of El Alto ruled on Friday that seven people will be held under the pre-trial detention on terrorism charges after an attack on the refinery belonging to the country's oil and gas corporation Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), prosecutor Williams Alave said.

According to local media reports, the clashes occurred last week when protesters tried to regain control of the plant of the Bolivian oil and gas corporation YPFB. Protesters blew up the wall of the facility with dynamite, after which police forces, who were inside oil products storage facility, backfired. On Thursday, the Bolivian Prosecutor General's Office launched an investigation into the attack.

"The judge ruled that people involved in the destruction of state property will be held in pre-trial detention in San Pedro prison and Qalauma rehabilitation center," he said at a press conference, as quoted by Bolivian media.

A criminal case was initially opened against seven people on charges of the destruction of state property and natural resources. Then prosecutors added terrorist charges.

The blockade of the Senkath oil refinery by supporters of Morales disrupted gasoline, diesel fuel and liquefied natural gas deliveries to La Paz and stoppage of the public transport in the capital. In addition, eight protesters were killed in clashes. Interim president, Jeanine Anez, has ordered the new hydrocarbons minister, Gen. Victor Hugo Zamora, to ensure fuel deliveries to the capital.

Morales fled Bolivia earlier in November amid violent protests against the results of the presidential election, in which he secured his fourth term in office. Opposition lawmaker Jeanine Anez then took over as an interim president, and Morales later characterized the situation as a coup.

The ex-president's supporters subsequently engaged in rallies against Anez' government, which led to violent clashes with security officers.