Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#IceBucketChallenge and hashtag activism

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The world’s dictators love the unrest in Ferguson'

Read more

ENCORE!

Montreal Stories

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

More than half of French households will pay no income tax this year

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users taking on the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to fight ALS

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • Ex-PM Juppé announces bid for 2017 French presidential race

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • IS militants ‘behead’ missing US journalist in gruesome video

    Read more

  • Deadly airstrikes hit Gaza as ceasefire with Israel collapses

    Read more

  • Tentative peace in Ferguson despite second fatal shooting

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Iraqi army clashes with militants in Tikrit after retaking key dam

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

  • ‘Let it be’: Londoners sick of Abbey Road tourists

    Read more

Americas

Dozens more tourists escape blockaded town of Potosi

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-11

Some 30 foreigners, including French nationals, managed on Tuesday to leave the Bolivian mountain city of Potosi, which has been paralysed for nearly two weeks by barricades blocking access to the city and a strike by locals.

AFP - Some 30 foreigners, including Japanese and Australians, on Tuesday fled this Bolivian mountain city paralysed by a two week-old general strike by locals demanding government action on a litany of complaints.
   
Miners set up roadblocks around the city on July 29 preventing tens of thousands people from leaving and stopping all vehicles from coming in. Vehicles attempting to run the blockade were attacked with stones.
   
The protesters are demanding that nearby mines in this city some 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) above the sea level be reopened. They also want the local airport expanded, a cement factory, and government action on ending a long-running boundary dispute with a neighboring province.
   
They claim socialist President Evo Morales' government has made plenty of promises, but has not delivered on them.
   
On Tuesday some 45 foreigners departed aboard two buses, but only one bus got past the roadblocks because they were taking Potosi regional governor Felix Gonzales and a team of strikers to the city of Sucre to negotiate with the government, French diplomat Frederic Laurent told AFP.
   
Most of the foreigners were French, Laurent said. There were also tourists from Spain, Israel and Argentina, though there is no official count.
   
Around 50 foreign tourists earlier left the hostage city on foot or aboard a plane chartered Saturday by a Bolivian tourist agency.
   
A helicopter Tuesday flew out a 22-year-old Frenchwoman who had recently had a heart transplant and lacked medicine, and two other French citizens, the French consul general in La Paz, Frederic Dore, told AFP.
   
Protesters had prevented an earlier helicopter flight sent to pick up the three and a Spanish man with health problems late Monday.
   
Potosi residents took advantage of an hours-long pause in the siege Tuesday to grab food being sold at greatly marked up prices by vendors uncertain when more supplies would be allowed through.
   
"We are stocking up for our families," said Celestino Condori, the head of the civic committee in the southeast city of 166,000 people. He and other organisers of the protest had called the brief suspension.
   
"There are lines everywhere. The prices have shot up," one resident, Janet Cruz, 36, told AFP.
   
In one bank, customers waited to withdraw cash. "There is a long line waiting to get money out," said one employee, Carlos Ramirez.
   
Demand was especially high to fill natural gas canisters, used for cooking.
   
"We have distributed 3,600 gas bottles. But the tanks are full of gas so no one's going to go without LPG (liquid petroleum gas)," a representative for the National Hydrocarbons Agency, Cristian Molina, said.
 

 

Date created : 2010-08-11

  • BOLIVIA

    Protesters seize Potosi airfield stranding scores of tourists

    Read more

  • BOLIVIA

    Stranded French tourists escape violence-wracked city of Potosi

    Read more

  • BOLIVIA

    Dozens of French tourists stuck in Potosi

    Read more

COMMENT(S)