Anti-government protesters are seen in La Paz, Bolivia, on October 31, 2019. Camera operator Daynor Flores Quispe was injured by an explosive amid the protests. (AP/Juan Karita)

Bolivian camera operator injured by explosive amid post-election protests

November 5, 2019 3:50 PM ET

On October 31, 2019, Bolivian camera operator Daynor Flores Quispe was injured in an explosion while covering a protest in La Paz, the capital, according to news reports.

A dynamite charge exploded near Quispe, a camera operator for the private Gigavisión TV network, who was covering clashes between protesters and police, according to a report by the Bolivian National Press Association, or ANP, a local press freedom group.

It was unclear who detonated the dynamite, but such explosives are often used by protesters; in 2016, the Bolivian government decriminalized the use of small amounts of dynamite in protests, calling it a “cultural tradition,” according to news reports.

Quispe sustained cuts and bruises on his legs and was treated at a local hospital, where he underwent surgery to remove shrapnel from his leg, according to the ANP report.

Protests erupted throughout Bolivia following the presidential election on October 20, which international observers allege had widespread irregularities; after the election, opposition leader Carlos Mesa called for nationwide strikes and demonstrations, according to Reuters.

Police and demonstrators have injured at least 16 journalists amid the protests, and security forces have briefly detained journalists covering the demonstrations, according to news reports and a report by the National Press Association.

The association also reported that online commenters have threatened news outlets with acts of violence.

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