Bolivian Central Bank employees began an indefinite strike on Monday (5 April).
GVs La Paz street scenes (2 shots)
CU PAN La Paz banks (2 shots)
GVs Closed banks (4 shots)
CU & GV Bank gates chained together (2 shots)
GVs People on streets, closed banks (5 shots)
GV Traffic jams in city
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Background: Bolivian Central Bank employees began an indefinite strike on Monday (5 April). Their action closed the head offices and branches of all Bolivia's major banks and spread chaos and confusion throughout the capital, La Paz. The strike is in protest over the resignation of bank president Guido Salinas. He had been accused of selling foreign exchange without authorisation. But the strikers accuse a senior member of the ruling junta, General Antonio Obando, of making a scapegoat of the bank president to protect those really responsible for the deal. The strike followed a 48-hour general strike at the end of March in protest at cost of living increases and the killing of six demonstrators in Cochabamba. In another development in Bolivia, six junta members were replaced. Civilians have thus been given a majority for the first time since the present rulers took power in July 1980. But diplomatic observers believe the changes are mainly a compromise between different factions in the army, rather than a genuine move towards civilian rule.