The protest strike by miners throughout Bolivia against General Garcia Meza's military coup on July 17, has crippled the industry, but made little impact on the resolve of the two week-old government.
GV Molina mine with snowcapped mountains in background.
GV Bolivian flag flying with children playing near mine entrance. PAN TO Miners' huts (2 shots)
GV Mino shaft deserted PAN TO Women in hut doorway
SV ZOOM OUT TO Mine shaft to ore loaded on trains (2 shots)
GV Idle tractor
CU Strike signs on walls of houses PAN ALONG TO Miners on strike (2 shots)
CU Women walking near their houses
CU Woman washing clothes under tap
CU ZOOM OUT From small boy playing hopscotch, mountains in background
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Background: The protest strike by miners throughout Bolivia against General Garcia Meza's military coup on July 17, has crippled the industry, but made little impact on the resolve of the two week-old government. The resistance began to crumble earlier this week (29 July) and some of the country's fifty thousand miners reached an agreement with the new rulers they had earlier opposed. But the majority of the country's miners were still considering offers by the government for them to return to work without fear of reprisals.
SYNOPSIS: High in the Andes in the town of Molina the mines are quiet.
When the army seized power this month it dashed the hopes of the insular and poverty-stricken country for political maturity. In the June elections, among the fairest in Bolivia's history, a left-wing moderate Sr. Siles Zuaro was destined as the next head of State. Then came the coup and the miners' augury revolt.
The strike crippled the country's main industry and troops were sent in to try to cut off the miners' food supplies in an effort to starve them into submission, according to broadcasts over radio networks controlled by the miners.
The church hierarchy accused armed civilian groups supporting the coup of murdering prisoners and urged the government to disband them and restore the country to constitutional rule.
But General Garcia's government has declared its intention to remain in power until what it calls "all traces of the Marxist cancer" have been eliminated. The General said he would crack down hard on dissenters and corruption.
Bolivia already had almost two hundred governments in its century and a half of independence.