The 48-hour strike which began on Monday (29 March) virtually paralysed Bolivia with workers in the vital mining sector, transport, factory, press, shopowners and teachers joining in the stoppage.
GV Street scenes in La Paz (2 shots)
GV ZOOM TO SV Workers outside closed gates
SV PAN Traffic passing crowd of workers outside closed building
SV PULL BACK GV Sign Corporacion Minera de Bolivia
GV Closed airline office Brannif Airlines
GVs Closed shops and offices and banks (4 shots)
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Background: The 48-hour strike which began on Monday (29 March) virtually paralysed Bolivia with workers in the vital mining sector, transport, factory, press, shopowners and teachers joining in the stoppage. The protest followed a demonstration last Friday (26 March) in the central city of Cochabamba, when 10,000 workers gathered in the main square to demand pay increase in line with the cost of living. An economic package announced by the government in February included a 76 per cent devaluation of the currency and steep rises in food prices. In La Paz public transport came to a standstill when drivers and other employees heeded the strike call by the banned Bolivian Workers Federation (COB), which grouped almost all workers until a military coup in July 1980. Shops closed and bank workers, who were supposed to carry on working behind closed doors, walked out of their offices soon after arriving. Telephone and telegraph links from La Paz to the rest of the country were interrupted and schoolchildren were sent home from state-run schools.