There are growing fears that general elections, due to be held in Bolivia in July, may be cancelled amid increasing public agitation for political reforms.
There are growing fears that general elections, due to be held in Bolivia in July, may be cancelled amid increasing public agitation for political reforms. President Hugo Banzer hinted at the weekend that the election, which would end seven years of military rule, might be cancelled. On Monday (10 January) the armed forces, police and civil guards were placed on a red alert to counteract what the government described as "subversive elements" trying to prevent a return to democracy.
SYNOPSIS: One continuing protest at conditions in Bolivia has been a series of hunger strikes. Labour and civil rights sources claim about 500 people are taking part.
About 200 people, including three priests, are on hunger strike in the capital, La Paz, in churches and various offices of the United Nations, say the civil rights sources. One priest, Father Luis Espinal, explained that the strikers had three basic demands -- a general political amnesty, the re-employment of workers fired for trade union activities and the withdrawal of troops who have been occupying the country's tin mines since 1976.
Father Espinal said the strikes were also an attempt to attract international attention to political conditions in Bolivia and the plight of the families of tin miners sacked, jailed or exiled following the 1976 miners' strike.