LA PAZ – Cries of “we want to work” returned on Friday to the center of La Paz, this time from workers of the fast-food industry, another sector that joins the many protests in Bolivia denouncing the stoppage of their economic activities due to coronavirus lockdown.
A protest march before the authorities asked for the authorization of these small businesses to offer alternatives, such as door-to-door sales, as has been allowed for restaurants and large food chains.
“Enough discrimination,” denounced one of the posters displayed during the tour of a central avenue in La Paz, while another warned that “hunger will kill us,” reiterating that business owners still have to pay rent from their sales, which have been very low for months.
Another banner from those in the fast food and traditional food sectors asked to be able to sell over the same hours as delivery businesses.
Protesters were demanding similar treatment for their fast-food street stalls, the hours of which are limited from Monday to Friday, while home delivery can operate during longer hours and also on weekends.
The march took place with protesters wearing masks and social distancing, due to the measures that the lockdown requires to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in Bolivia.
They also displayed slogans addressed to the country’s interim president, Jeanine Añez, and to the mayor of La Paz, Luis Revilla.
This type of protest has been taking place in Bolivian cities for days, with different sectors asking for support from the authorities after almost three months of many being hardly able to work due to the restrictions imposed during the lockdown period.
Bolivia has been in a state of health emergency since the end of March due to COVID-19, with a flexible lockdown from June 1 in parts of the country in an attempt to revive the economy.
But various sectors are calling for urgent support as they are still trying to survive on little income and have debts to pay.