Twelve dead in Bolivia mine clashes

At least 12 people have been killed and 57 injured in Bolivia in clashes between state-employed and independent tin miners, the interior ministry said.

    Miners clashed using dynamite and firearms

    Mine workers used dynamite and firearms in a battle for control of the Huayuni mine in the Andes mountains, one of the largest tin mines in the world, Bolivian unions said on Thursday.

    The army was sent to the region after hundreds of members of an independent miners co-operative took control of the state-owned mine early on Thursday.

    Government employed miners attempted to fight back and clashes continued into the afternoon.

    Juan Ramon Quintana, a presidential spokesman, called the fighting "demented and fratricidal" and appealed for calm.

    Roberto Chavez, leader of the Bolivian Mine Workers Union  Federation, blamed the government of Evo Morales, the president.

    "Now, let them provide the caskets,"  he said, demanding that Walter Villarroel, the mining minister, resign.

    Villaroel is to travel to the area in an effort to persuade both sides that they can work together at Huanuni, officials said.

    Continuing protests

    Morales's government has negotiated an end to recent protests and road blockages over Indian rights, natural resources and land, and coca-leaf farming.

    Late last month, state-paid miners blocked highways demanding more jobs in the Huanuni mine, halting the flow of vehicles through one of Bolivia's main trade routes for several days.

    Huanuni, 280km south of La Paz, belongs to the state-run Corporacion Minera de Bolivia, or Comibol, and is the largest tin mine in South America.
     
    Mining co-operatives, with about 63,000 members throughout the country, have demanded that they too be allowed to mine its tin deposits.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Investigation reveals scale of forced displacement in South Sudan

    Investigation reveals scale of forced displacement in South Sudan

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across the entire country.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.