NewsBolivia deploys military to gas stations amid fuel shortage crisis

Bolivia deploys military to gas stations amid fuel shortage crisis

The military at fuel stations in Bolivia
The military at fuel stations in Bolivia
Images source: © Getty Images | Gaston Brito

8:44 AM EDT, June 13, 2024

Bolivian President Luis Arce has decided to deploy the military to gas stations to combat illegal fuel purchasing and smuggling practices, which are subsidized by the state. The government believes these actions are the main cause of shortages, leading to protests in the country.

Bolivian soldiers began service at gas stations on Wednesday, June 12. They have been deployed to cities including El Alto and Cochabamba, as reported by the daily "Correo del Sur."

Deputy Minister of Defense Juan Carlos Calvimontes stated on Wednesday that the military's task is to ensure that fuel is only supplied to vehicles registered in the electronic system.

Fuel shortage and protests in Bolivia

In recent months, protests have intensified in Bolivia, where residents are dissatisfied with the shortage of diesel and US dollars in the market. In early June, truck drivers organized a 48-hour blockade of several highways and are now threatening further actions if the situation does not improve.

Bloomberg Agency notes that oil production in Bolivia is declining. Shortages of foreign currencies are increasingly hindering the authorities' ability to import fuel, which is sold domestically at prices lower than production costs.

President Luis Arce emphasizes that Bolivia must import 65% of its gasoline and 85% of its diesel abroad. Bloomberg highlighted that during a recent visit to Moscow, the Bolivian president sought approval to import oil from Russia.

Related content