LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
Bolivian President Dr.
LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
1. SV President Hernan Siles Zuazo speaking at government office with representative listening and applauding. (SOT) 0.39
2. SV President continues as chanting abates. (SOT) 1.18
3. SV PAN Seated representatives applaud. 1.32
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
Bolivian President Dr. Hernan Siles Zuazo went on hunger strike on October 25. President Siles Zuazo said on television that he would fast "until peace and understanding among Bolivians are restored". The immediate reason for the President's decision was opposition censure for his apparent links with Bolivia's "Cocaine King". A government drug enforcement official Mr. Rafael Otazo told a congressional hearing that he had undertaken negotiations with Bolivia's most infamous drugs trafficker Roberto Suarez Gomez under instructions from President Siles Zuazo. Otazo alleges that Suarez offered to help pay Bolivia's huge foreign debt, presumably for some form of immunity from prosecution. President Siles Zuazo has denied the charges and accuses the opposition of trying to sabotage his presidency. In order to dismiss the allegations President Siles Zuazo ordered a force of 200 troops into the area where Suarez is believed to be hidden, with instructions to bring him in dead or alive. The opposition so far remain unmoved by the hunger strike. Siles Zuazo came to power after twenty years of military rule in Bolivia, but his two years in office have been plagued by social unrest and political infighting. After three days on hunger strike the seventy-year-old President was ordered not to walk about unnecessarily by his doctor. He is taking only water with sugar added to help him keep up his strength. So far the president has continued to conduct government business but his advanced age gives cause for serious concern should the fast last for any prolonged length of time.
Source: TELEVISION BOLIVIANA