Miners' leader accused in death of Bolivian minister

Head of miners federation that called strike last month, 2 top officials among detained

Miners' leader accused in death of Bolivian minister

World Bulletin / News Desk

The head of a mining federation in Bolivia and two top officials on Saturday were held responsible for the killing of deputy interior minister Rodolfo Illanes.

The Attorney General's office detained dozens of miners, including Carlos Mamani, head of the National Federation of Mining Cooperatives of Bolivia, which called an indefinite protest early last month after abortive negotiations on mining legislation.

The Public Ministry said Mamani and two other federation officials were culpable in the murder.

Illanes, 56, had traveled to Panduro, located 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the capital of La Paz, to negotiate with miners but was kidnapped by demonstrators and beaten to death, according to the government.

Illanes was a government mediator who had set out to talk to miners who are demanding work concessions, the right to work for private companies and more union representatives.

Hours after Illanes death was confirmed, miners lifted roadblocks they were using in hopes of forcing government concessions.

The bitter episode is a departure from Bolivia’s past that has historically seen cooperative miners as key government allies.

President Evo Morales on Friday declared three days of mourning for Illanes at a press conference in which he said: “I feel that in this mobilization of the cooperative miners there was a political conspiracy and there was no claim for the social sector.”

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Ağustos 2016, 11:21