Bolivia: Collapse of a House of Tin

Collapse of a House of Tin

In recent years, the twin pillars of the Bolivian economy have been cocaine and tin. The illicit cocaine trade was jolted in July, when President Victor Paz Estenssoro heeded a Washington request and invited U.S. troops to participate in raids on Bolivian drug labs. Now Paz Estenssoro faces a crisis over tin. When more than 5,000 miners marched toward the capital city of La Paz last week to protest present layoffs and future mine closings, Paz Estenssoro responded by declaring a state of siege. Bolivian soldiers promptly halted the advance. Meanwhile, police arrested at least 162 persons, including labor leaders and...

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