>> Scenes from an escalating clash in Bolivia between medical professionals and riot police on Wednesday. Officers firing tear gas on the crowds, part of a larger strike over malpractice law that's dragged on for more than a month in the City of La Paz, the seat of the country’s government.
Protests erupted after a new law upped the punishment for doctors found guilty of inflicting bodily harm to patients. Now that means five to nine years of jail time, removal of their professional title, and seizure of all assets. On Wednesday, many protesters wore white coats to symbolize their jobs.
This student’s sign reads, we are not criminals, we save lives. Together they cried out for President Evo Morales to repeal the law.>> It's a dictatorship. Not even during the worst of other dictatorships has this happened. I say to Evo, the people are angry.>> The strike has all but shut down local hospitals with only limited emergency room services.
It’s all part of a larger shift in dissent towards the ruling government as support for Morales continues to weaken in Bolivia's cities. Under the constitution, a president can only serve up to two consecutive terms. However, a controversial court decision last month will allow Morales to run for his fourth term in 2019.