Bolivian miners lift blockade, agree to government talks

5,000 cooperative miners occupied major transportation arteries

Bolivian miners lift blockade, agree to government talks

World Bulletin / News Desk

A union of mining cooperatives decided Friday to lift a blockade of important transportation routes in Bolivia after three days of violent clashes with the police.

The removal of the blockade was a condition stipulated by the government to begin negotiations on job demands.

“We are sending the corresponding letter to our President Evo Morales, indicating that we will give a lift recess to install the negotiating table from now,” said Carlos Mamani, who heads the Federation of Mining Cooperatives.

Miners occupied major highways in six of the country’s nine departments in the past 48 hours, with 5,000 cooperative miners occupying dozens of roads in the departments of La Paz, Oruro and Potosi in the southwest and Cochabamba in central Bolivia.

Approximately 70 policemen were wounded in clashes with miners and according to Mamani, 252 miners were injured in the past three days.

The leaders of the cooperatives oppose a law that protects the functioning of unions inside the cooperatives. Cooperation leaders have created petitions that include the creation of a Ministry of Cooperatives.

Until recently, cooperative miners were in charge of the Vice Ministry of Mining of the country -- a post they are trying to recover.

On Thursday, 46 policemen were released by the miners after being held hostage for a few hours in Mantecani, in La Paz. The officers were allowed to go free only after authorities agreed to the release of dozens of miners who were arrested during the conflict.

Opposition politicians have criticized the government for agreeing to release the protesters, although they held police hostage.


Last Mod: 13 Ağustos 2016, 12:54
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