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One dead in Bolivian mayor clashes

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 01:19

Jan 12 - One dead during clashes between Bolivian riot police and protesters trying to prevent the reinstatement of a mayor they say is corrupt. Nick Rowlands reports.

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Bolivian riot police fire tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting against a controversial mayor. A 26-year-old man, Abel Rocha, died after being shot three times during the clashes in Santa Cruz province. Activists were demonstrating against the reinstatement of Mayor David Carvajal, who was forced out of office in November by massive protests against his alleged corruption. A court recently ruled in his favour and he was allowed to retake office, but protesters blocked the streets to prevent his return. Dozens of protesters and police were injured in the clashes, and at least 80 people detained. A relative of the man killed said Rocha was an innocent bystander caught in the cross fire. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED RELATIVE OF ABEL ROCHA, MAN WHO DIED IN CLASHES, SAYING: "He was a bricklayer. He went to church. He wasn't involved in those things. Everyone knew him, his friends from church, they knew he didn't get involved in those things." Mayor Carvajal was backed up by Bolivian President Evo Morales, and this activist yells that Morales has now lost the support of the municipality. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.

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One dead in Bolivian mayor clashes

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 01:19