Bolivia Protesters Challenge Amazon Highway Project

By Laura Richmond

RURRENABAQUE, Bolivia (UTC/TheLoop) — Bolivia’s defense minister has resigned in protest over a crackdown in Indians protesting an Amazon highway they say will cause damage to their lands.

Celicia Chacon says she did not agree with the government decision to break up a march against the highway project and detain hundreds of protesters.

About 100 protesters seized the landing strip in the town of Rurrenabaque on Monday to prevent police from using it to fly detainees out of the area.

The protest poses a dilemma for President Evo Morales. While he sympathizes with Indian causes, he says the 190-mile (300-kilometer) highway is essential for Bolivia’s economy. It is to connect Brazil with Pacific ports in Chile and Peru.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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