LA PAZ – At least seven people were injured in a clash between groups of demonstrators and Bolivian police, who used tear gas to unblock one of the highways cut by protesters affiliated with the Bolivian Workers Central, or COB.
The deputy interior minister, Jorge Perez, said at a press conference that three of the injured are police and four are demonstrators who were participating in the protest the union staged near the central city of Cochabamba.
Police arrested 37 people in the confrontation, but they were released a few hours later after being identified and processed.
The government said that the three injured police officers were beaten with sticks and pelted with stones and are recovering in the hospital, and the media also reported that the four injured protesters are receiving care at local hospitals.
The police used tear gas at another point of the road blockade also, specifically along the highway connecting the cities of La Paz and Oruro.
According to the government, thanks to the action of the police all the country’s highways are now open to traffic, but union sources said that other sites have been blockaded, one along a road to Argentina.
The COB led the blockades on Monday and staged a hunger strike in state-run hospitals to demand that President Evo Morales implement changes in the pension law to improve the income of retirees. EFE