LA PAZ – Bolivian prosecutors freed 47 demonstrators who took part in violent protests here in support of the demands being made for the southwestern region of Potosi, but arraigned four of them for the destruction they caused with dynamite, the government said Friday.
The government respects the decision to free the 47 demonstrators, though they also took part in Wednesday’s protests that led to a violent clash in La Paz between miners and cops, Deputy Interior Minister Jorge Perez told Unitel television.
The government charges the miners with dynamiting a door of the Interior Ministry along with police installations and two official vehicles, plus the explosions that started fires in the German Embassy and a hotel.
The four miners being charged have been identified as the direct culprits in the dynamiting of a door in the ministry and breaking into its installations, while throwing rocks to shatter its windows, officials told EFE.
The director of the Potosi Civic Committee, Jhonny Llally, told the media Friday that he was demanding the release of all those in custody, including the four who have been accused, as a condition for entering into talks with the government to resolve the general strike in Potosi, now in its 19th day.
The strikers are demanding major public works projects for Potosi, including the construction of a hydroelectric dam, hospitals, highways, glass and cement factories and an international airport.