August 26, 2016
The executive of the Federation of Bolivian Mine Workers (FSTMB), Orlando Gutierrez, condemned the assassination of Deputy Minister of the Interior, Rodolfo Illanes, after he was kidnapped by members of mining cooperatives.
Illanes was taken hostage early yesterday by groups of private miners in Panduro, about 186 kilometers south of La Paz. He had been sent to try and reconcile a negotiating proposal with the rebel miners.
“On behalf of the FSTMB, we repudiate the act of killing a human being. This barbarism is condemnable especially when Illanes had traveled to the mine to dropped to the mine to resolve the conflict by wanting to seek a dialogue with the miners,” Gutierrez said yesterday night on the state run TV of Bolivia.
The executive reflected on the conflict that was initiated by the leadership of the Federation of Mining Cooperatives of Bolivia (FENCOMIN). They had escalated the conflict by urging roadblocks and the use of dynamite that resulted in dozens being seriously insured and the deaths of two workers this week.
Gutierrez agreed that CONCOBOL (the National Confederation of Cooperatives of Bolivia) had to come up with a more rational, mature and peaceful approach when making such serious decisions.
The government and FENCOMIN leaders agreed yesterday that they would begin a dialogue this afternoon to hopefully resolve the standoff that has been going on for several days now.
One of the issues that the protestors are rejecting is the adoption of the Law on Cooperatives that calls for the unionization of the workers. This law is supported by the government and would give more collective power to the miners when dealing with the owners of the mines instead of each cooperative having to reach their own agreement.
Source: Prensa Latina