Pay deal reached with Bolivian police

Government announces it has reached a pay deal with striking police, in action it had labelled a budding "coup d'etat".

    The government had cast the protests as a budding 'coup d'etat' [Reuters]
    The government had cast the protests as a budding 'coup d'etat' [Reuters]

    Bolivian President Evo Morales's government has announced that it has reached a pay deal with striking police, ending a week of protests across the country.

    The deal gives police a monthly pay raise of 100 bolivianos, roughly $15, which raises the base pay for a police officer to 1,945 bolivianos, or $279.

    "With this agreement [to raise their salaries] the police will be resuming their duties," Interior Minister Carlos Romero said on Wednesday.

    Esther Corzon, a representative for the police, confirmed that pending "approval of our comrades in the nine departments [states] we have signed the agreement". Some uniformed officers were already reported to be back on patrol.

    Jorge Perez, the deputy minister responsible for matters related to the police, said the hard fought deal was the result of "arduous negotiations" but was "for the good of the police and the country," and would allow "a return to peace" and public order.

    At the height of the unrest, hundreds of uniformed police demonstrated in front of the gates of the heavily-guarded presidential palace, while dueling protests saw public workers aligned with Morales gathered at a square in the outskirts of La Paz.

    The government had cast the protests, the latest bout of social unrest that has included miners, doctors, indigenous people and other groups frustrated with their low standard of living, as a budding "coup d'etat".

    Morales also accused his political opponents of being behind the action.

    SOURCE: AFP


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