Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Peugeot at Paris Motor Show: 'We are recovering'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Does Hong Kong have the world’s politest protesters?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

UMP: may the best man win

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

US media reacts to Ebola scare

Read more

DEBATE

How to stop Ebola: Centers for Disease Control confirms first case of virus in US (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to stop Ebola: Centers for Disease Control confirms first case of virus in US

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Syrian student risks her life to film IS group stronghold

Read more

FOCUS

The Iraqi TV show where victims confront terrorists

Read more

WEB NEWS

Hong Kong protesters use Firechat to evade censorship

Read more

Americas

Bolivia's Morales calls on troops to end strike

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-26

Bolivian President Evo Morales has urged striking members of the armed forces to return to their barracks, calling the action "a betrayal of the homeland".

"A military without discipline ceases to be a military," Morales declared at an event marking the anniversary of an army military college. "The people need you," he pleaded to the soldiers and low-ranking officers who have been striking for several days.

"The people place their trust in the sergeants. Officers and commanders, your president has placed his faith in you," he declared.

The striking non-commissioned officers, most of whom, like Morales, are of native origin, are protesting the lack of opportunities for advancement in the military, complaining that most of those promoted are white or of mixed-Indian and white heritage.

Bolivia sacked some 700 members of the military for “sedition” on Thursday, in response to the strike.

But the mass dismissal appeared only to further galvanise the disgruntled soldiers, who vowed to keep up pressure on the military and the government.

“This is an assault on us, and they don’t know what they are expecting,” an air force soldier told daily newspaper Pagina Siete under condition of anonymity. "Do they want an open confrontation between officers and subordinates? All we have done is draw attention to our plight. We have not rebelled.”

The association representing non-commissioned soldiers said the army was not respecting a new constitution promulgated by President Evo Morales, himself an Aymara Indian, which guarantees racial and gender equality.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-04-25

  • BOLIVIA

    Striking Bolivian police battle workers in La Paz

    Read more

  • BOLIVIA

    Morales suspends highway construction after protests by Amazon Indians

    Read more

  • BOLIVIA

    Morales scraps fuel price hike after violent protests

    Read more

COMMENT(S)