Gasoline, food shortages reported in Bolivia amid violent protests

Residents in several Bolivian cities are reporting food and gasoline shortages because of protests by supporters of ousted President Evo Morales, who resigned after a disputed election and nationwide unrest.

Bolivia’s interim government said Monday that its efforts to resupply La Paz face challenges because demonstrators have cut off some transport routes. The new leadership is also struggling to open dialogue with opponents, particularly after the shooting deaths of nine pro-Morales coca growers during a confrontation with security forces on Friday.

Furious over the shootings, backers of Morales demand the resignation of Jeanine Anez, Bolivia’s self-proclaimed interim president. A U.N. envoy, meanwhile, is trying to broker talks among Bolivia’s factions.

The new hydrocarbons minister, Victor Hugo Zamora, told Bolivia’s ATB television that a gasoline supply convoy is having difficulty reaching the city because of roadblocks and ditches dug by protesters.

Many shops in La Paz are closed and the few that are open are charging double the normal price, said resident Guillermina Chura.

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