Bolivian police mutiny and riot over pay, stage set for coup
By Adam Taylor | BusinessInsider.com
An estimated 4,000 low-ranked Bolivian police officers began a mutiny yesterday, demanding better wages across the nation, the AP reports.
The footage coming out of the country is pretty insane. Hundreds of heavily armed police officers, barricaded in their own offices, setting files alight and generally trashing everything.
It’s a tense situation — a similar strike in 2003 ended with a gunfight between the police and the presidential guard that left 19 dead. The officers are demanding a meeting with President Evo Morales, who is in the Presidential Palace only 100 meters away from where the protests began.
Below is footage from the ransacking of the police intelligence headquarter.
Video from: YouTube.com
Video from: YouTube.com
Read the full article at: businessinsider.com
Police mutiny setting stage for coup: Bolivia
Bolivia says it is facing a coup attempt, as those involved in the recent police mutiny are stockpiling weapons in police stations.
Striking police officers demonstrate in front of the National Police headquarters in La Paz, Bolivia, June 22, 2012.
“Press reports and intelligence reports are now saying that a coup scenario is taking shape,” Communications Minister Amanda Davila said in an interview with a private broadcaster, AFP reported.
“What gets our attention is that the police are putting weapons in police units where there were none before, they are pressuring other units to turn over their weapons,” she noted.
Davila said the movement of arms in the cities of Cochabamba and Tarija seemed to be timed to coincide with the arrival of a group of indigenous protesters in the capital on Tuesday.
The group is on a march in protest against plans for a road that passes through an ecological reserve.
Earlier in the day, talks between Interior Minister Carlos Romero and striking officers ended in a stalemate, with Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra consequently announcing the deployment of more troops into the streets to protect private property and ensure public order.
Bolivian police are demanding a substantial pay increase to 2,000 Bolivianos (USD287) from a current average of USD 195 a month and a full pay upon retirement.
Other demands include the resignation of the national police chief, Colonel Victor Maldonado.
The mutiny began Thursday when some 30 policemen and their wives seized control of the headquarters of the country’s riot police and eight other police stations. The trouble soon spread to more than two dozen police stations and command centers across the country.
Hundreds of striking police, masked and dressed in civilian clothes, attacked the National Intelligence Directorate on Friday, smashing windows and pulling out furniture, documents and computers, and torched flags.
Government officials have raised concerns about citizen safety.
Article from: presstv.com
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