Commercial HE-Based IEDs used by Farmers in Protests, La Paz, Bolivia

During August 2022 coca growers in the Bolivian capital La Paz, clashed repeatedly with police forces regarding the opening of an illegal coca market allegedly supported by the government. What started out as protest marches rapidly escalated into violent clashes incorporating the use of commercial explosives by the protesters some with added metal fragmentation used as thrown IED’s against police forces, with other IED’s fired from improvised mobile launchers.

Police forces preventing the protesters from accessing the illegal market responded with tear gas for riot control. Some of these canisters have been reused as IED casings by the protesters, in addition to soda cans and other miscellaneous items. The commercial explosives employed by the protesters are extremely dangerous especially when fragmentation or a metal casing is added.

A full report containing photographs and a detailed threat analysis of these improvised explosives is available for official use only to approved government, defence, and law enforcement bodies.

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