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Sister of Evo Morales dies of COVID-19 in Bolivia

Evo Morales’ sister died on Sunday morning from COVID-19, confirmed the ex-president in Argentina.

“For me, Esther, she was like a mother,” Morales wrote on his Twitter account, while regretting that for political reasons he could not say goodbye to his relative.

The former president’s sister died at age 70 in a hospital in the city of Oruro, 120 kilometers southwest of La Paz.

Press media indicated that Esther Morales could not be admitted to a hospital before due to the shortage of oxygen in medical centers due to protests with roadblocks by followers of the former president in rejection of the postponement of the presidential elections scheduled for October.

Meanwhile, police reported that roads were largely cleared on Saturday after 12 days of protests across the country. A political agreement made it possible to seal the date of the elections by law for October 18.

The authorities fear that the mass protests have accelerated the infections that until Sunday totaled 99,146 positives and 4,003 deaths, according to Virgilio Prieto, director of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health.

Bolivia seeks to settle a political crisis that came after the elections in October last year were canceled due to suspicions of fraud, which sparked violent protests among Morales supporters and opponents that resulted in the death of 36 people. Morales resigned and went into exile after 14 years in power.

Morales is not a candidate for the October elections, but his leftist party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS), maintains a slim lead in the polls against divided rivals from the center and the right.