Police in three Bolivian cities join opposition

Police in three Bolivian cities said Friday they were joining anti-government protests in the first sign security forces are heeding opposition calls to withdraw support from President Evo Morales.

Units in the southeastern city of Sucre and the opposition stronghold of Santa Cruz said they were joining a rebellion launched earlier by police officers in the central city of Cochabamba.

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Police in Sucre “are joining in support of the comrades who have mutinied in Cochabamba,” a uniformed officer, his face covered, told local TV from the door of a police station.

“We cannot continue with this narco-government, with this unjust democracy,” he told the television.

Police from the Santa Cruz command also closed their station doors and several uniformed men climbed onto the roof, waving red, yellow and green Bolivian flags.

Hundreds of opposition supporters crowded around police stations in the capital La Paz and in the northeastern city of Trinidad to urge police there to reject Morales.

Bolivia has been rocked by deadly post-election violence over opposition claims that Morales rigged his re-election last month.

A 20-year-old student died in clashes Wednesday between pro- and anti- government demonstrators in Cochabamba, bringing the overall toll to three dead since the disputed October 20 election.

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