The Bolivian police arrested the prominent opposition leader and governor of the Santa Cruz region, Luis Fernando Camacho. Interior Minister Eduardo del Castillo confirmed on Wednesday Camacho's detention on Twitter and said he would release more information later.
Later, he posted a picture of Camacho saying he was not injured during his detention but was being examined by medical staff.
Footage of the incident, shared on social media, shows Camacho being handcuffed on the roadside while surrounded by armed law enforcement officers.
Martin Camacho, the governor's lawyer, told the local newspaper El Deber that his client was being taken to the capital of La Paz to answer questions in cases opened against him.
Dozens of Camacho's supporters flocked to Santa Cruz's two airports, demanding his freedom. The Santa Cruz government described Camacho's detention as a kidnapping.
The operation to kidnap the governor was carried out in the streets near his home, as he was returning from his duties, the Santa Cruz government said.
In these moments, the governor's whereabouts are unknown.
Authorities have not said why Camacho was detained, but he recently helped lead weeks of protests against President Luis Arce's administration. Protestors demanded a census to increase representation in the national legislature and access to state funds for the opposition stronghold of Santa Cruz.
While a census was scheduled for 2024, the protesters called for it to be held next year to accurately reflect Santa Cruz's growing economic and population size in the legislature.
Camacho was also a prominent figure in the large protests in 2019 that resulted in the removal of President Evo Morales from power after elections were deemed fraudulent by the Organization of American States.
The protests caused social unrest and resulted in 37 deaths, leading to Bolivia's most severe institutional crisis in recent years.
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