On October 4, thousands of protesters stepped out on the streets of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia to demonstrate against the response of President Evo Morales’ government to wildfires in the country, news agency Reuters reported.

Santa Cruz city in Bolivia is home to the Chiquitano dry forests where indigenous people have been living for hundreds of years, the report added. The people of Bolivia have been demanding that the wildfires be declared a national disaster, but Morales’ government is of the view that this step could “invite foreign meddling in a sovereign issue”. In August 2019, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro faced worldwide criticism for not doing enough to stop the Amazon rainforests from burning.

Bolivia is scheduled to elect its next president in an election scheduled for October 20, 2019.