Santa Cruz, BOLIVIA: Percy Fernandez, mayor of the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz (east), speaks during a press conference 06 December, 2006 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. More than 600 opponents to the Government of President Evo Morales are on hunger strike in Bolivia in protest for the decision of the ruling party, the Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS), of imposing the 51% majority system for the voting in the Constituent Assembly. The government accused Wednesday the opposition of attempting to boycott the II South American summit that will be held in Cochabamba December 8th. AFP PHOTO AIZAR RALDES (Photo credit should read AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images)
Aizar Raldes – AFP/Getty Images
By Francesca Trianni
May 9, 2014

The mayor of Bolivia’s largest city was caught on camera groping and kissing women – again.

Percy Fernandez, the Mayor of Santa Cruz, is seen in a new video placing his hand on the thigh of Mercedes Guzman, a journalist from a local television channel.

But this is not the first time that the mayor, recently called by President Evo Morales “the best mayor in Bolivia,” was caught making unwanted advances on women. At least two other instances of his sexual harassment were caught on camera in the past. Two years ago, footage showed him twice touching the bottom of his female City Council president, and in 2010 he forced a kiss upon a female engineer while inspecting a bridge.

“[We consider this] an expression of violence against all Bolivian women, especially because the mayor’s actions have happened before,” said Marcela Revollo, a Bolivian lawmaker.

After increasing public outcry, the 75-year-old mayor sent a video to Santa Cruz media in which he apologized to the journalist for the incident.

“I’m worried that I might’ve disrespected you while you were performing your duties. I apologize again to you and your dignified family,” Fernandez says on the video.

But opposition lawmaker Revollo said that the apology was not enough. She has filed a complaint accusing Fernandez of sexual harassment, sexual violence and discrimination.

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