Luis Fernando Camacho, a civic committee leader from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, has become one of the main opposition figures to emerge in the aftermath of Evo Morales’ resignation.
Morales resigned on Sunday after the Organization of American States (OAS) published a report detailing extensive evidence of fraud in the October 20 presidential election Morales “won” to secure an unconstitutional fourth term in office.
The official opposition in that election to Morales is Carlos Mesa, a former president who led the country between 2003 to 2005. Mesa is a member of a party known as the Revolutionary Left Front, a slightly more moderate leftist alternative to Morales’ Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party.
Yet it is Camacho who appears to have taken a leadership role in the protests that have rocked the country since last month’s election. On Twitter, the 40-year-old describes himself as “president of the Committee for Santa Cruz, lawyer and father of three children,” adding that he fights people “not with weapons but with Faith.”
Camacho has branded himself a true conservative and distanced himself from Mesa’s establishment left.
“I will never participate in another meeting with Carlos Mesa,” he told local outlet La Razon. “I realized we were supporting a person who didn’t care about the people’s vote.”
Si queremos una Bolivia unida, seamos tolerantes y respetemos a quienes los representa alguna bandera o algunos símbolos.
Construyamos una nueva Bolivia entre todos!
¡Viva #Bolivia!#BoliviaUnida pic.twitter.com/H5Le4lMqjl
— Luis Fernando Camacho (@LuisFerCamachoV) November 12, 2019
A staunch Christian, Camacho has long warned the country’s predominantly Catholic population that Morales’s far-left agenda is a threat to their personal, economic, and religious liberties. After Morales fled to his home in Cochabamba following his resignation, Camacho entered the old presidential palace and laid down a Bible, where he pledged to “return God to the Burned Palace,” the official presidential residence of the country.
“Pachamama will never return to the palace,” he said, referring to the Andean Mother Earth spirit. “Bolivia belongs to Christ.”
Según la agencia AFP, el líder regional opositor de #Bolivia, Luis Fernando Camacho entregó en la casa de gobierno de La Paz la carta de renuncia de Evo Morales y una Biblia. La imagen ya se viraliza en redes sociales. pic.twitter.com/ufNggpCZfy
— Irving (@IrvingPineda) November 10, 2019
Following last month’s presidential election, Camacho was instrumental in organizing the mass demonstrations that led to Morales’s resignation. While the majority of the protests have been peaceful, there have been some instances of violence between supporters of Camacho and Morales.
On Tuesday, Camacho called on the Bolivian Armed Forces to be “part of this historic moment and go out to save the people who are cruelly being attacked and killed by the perverse hordes of Evo Morales. ”
Con la biblia, el rosario y la carta de renuncia en la mano, nos encomendamos a Dios por una nueva y reestructurada Bolivia en democracia.#BoliviaNoHayGolpe #FraudeElectoralBolivia #BoliviaLibre #EvoDictadorFuera #MiradorBolivia #Bolivia pic.twitter.com/R4tiiK0gVC
— Luis Fernando Camacho (@LuisFerCamachoV) November 11, 2019
The situation in Bolivia currently remains fluid, with Evo Morales having already arrived in Mexico where he has been granted political asylum. Eric Farnsworth, President of the anti-communist Council of the Americas, told Al Jazeera that the situation in Bolivia “is very unstable and does seem to be deteriorating.”
“Bolivia is traditionally a very divided society,” he explained. “It’s divided in geographical terms, in socio-economic terms, [and] in racial terms so there’s a lot of kindling here for a fire to really take off if calmer heads don’t prevail.”