Bolivia: Potosi Miners Total General Strike ..Day 11

Bolivia: Potosi General Strike Paralyzes Mining Town

11 days now since a general strike began in Potosi, Bolivia, called by 2 Citizens platforms and the anarcho-syndicalist union COB against impossible criminal exploitation. .

the total blockade of the mountainous area continues
the total blockade of the mountainous area continues

The Civic Committee Potosina (Comcipo) after walking for 12 days, arrived in La Paz on July 7 asking for an audience with President Evo Morales. Meanwhile in Potosi, massive marches are ongoing and a general strike is in effect which has paralyzed the Bolivian mining town.

Photo: Daniel Colpari

Potosi sits at the bottom of Cerro Rico (rich mountain), which is known as the worlds largest silver deposit however the poverty rate in the department of Potosi is one of the highest in the country. 66.7% of the Potosi population lives in extreme poverty. 64% of the municipalities in rural areas are in extreme poverty and some municipalities reach poverty levels of 90%.

Child mortality rates are also the highest in the country: for every 1000 live child births, 101 babies die. Chronic malnutrition affects 38.8% of the population. According to a 2003 study by the Bolivian National Statistic Institute, 98% of local children under 5 years old developed diarrhea and intestinal problems.

The Cerro Rico mines employ an estimated 15,000 miners and is known as “the mountain that eats men” due the number of workers who have died there. An average of 20 people die each month from work related accidents at the Potosi Mines of Cerro Rico. Life expectancy for miners in Potosi is a shocking 40 years old due to dangerous working conditions and illnesses caused by breathing in silica dust or asbestos. These statistics are only part of the social conflicts affecting Potosi today.

A list of 26 demands from November 2014 is presented as the main point of negotiation of the current conflicts in Potosi. The list includes items such as hospitals, bridge and road construction, wind power, a garbage recycling plant, medical items for doctors and nurses, an international airport, preservation of Cerro Rico, a cement factory, a glass factory, hydroelectric plants and educational items for social workers, teachers and psychologists.

“Do you have to walk through downtown La Paz? Take precautions, the Comcipo blocks continue.”ca_1_1f_prensa

A protest in support of Potosi was teargassed on July 13 in La Paz

VIDEO: The eighth day of indefinite strike in Potosi closed with a massive marchhuelga-en-potosi-provoca-graves-y-masivas-violaciones-de-los-dd-hh-130286_595_383_1

16 julio 2015

Potosí mantiene huelga general y pide atención con una marcha

El Comité Cívico Potosinista (Comcipo) y el Comité de Movibilización mantienen la huelga general indefinida y no se define un espacio para que la población pueda adqurir productos de primera necesidad.
El dirigente cívico José Emilio Elías confirmó que la movilización regional está fortalecida y ya no existe necesidad de los grupos de control ni otros mecanismos porque el pueblo asumió la medida con disciplina.
También convocó a la población a la tercer gran marcha que se desarrollará desde las 14:00 partiendo desde los sectores de Plaza El Minero, Huachacalla, Plan 40 y Cementerio para confluir en el sector de la Pasarela.

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