The Presidents of Bolivia and Brazil have signed an agreement which has sparked off widespread demonstrations in the Bolivian capital, La Paz.
The Presidents of Bolivia and Brazil have signed an agreement which has sparked off widespread demonstrations in the Bolivian capital, La Paz. The agreement is for Bolivia to supply 240-million cubic fear of natural gas per day to Brazil for the next 20 years. President Hugo Hanzer Suarez of Bolivia and President Ernesto Geisel of Brazil met in the town of Cochabamba on Wednesday (May 22) for the signing ceremony. It's thought they picked this site because of demonstrations planned in La Paz to coincide with the signing.
Students, labour and political groups have been campaigning to stop the Bolivia military Government offering the naturai gas to Brazil for such time and in such quantities. There were clashes in La Paz between police and demonstrators even as the two leaders were sitting down to sign. Police used tear gas to disperse the protestors and there were reports that three students were wounded by bullets. One university in La Paz has been closed in the face of a student strike.
During speeches after the signing, the two Presidents said the agreement meant closer links between the two nations and they expressed the hope contacts would be even closer over the next few years.