Bolivians protest ban on used car imports; one dead, five injured
One man died and at least five others were injured Monday when Bolivian police tried to control protestors who were demonstrating against a government ban on the import of used cars, dpa reported.
Police used force to lift a blockade on the road that links La Paz to the rest of the country, according to media reports. A 29-year-old man died after his throat was reportedly punctured by a pellet shot by a police officer.
Bolivians who sell used cars that are brought into the country from Asia and the United States, blocked two roads to protest a recent ban on the import of vehicles that are more than five years old.
Workers' leader Juan Carlos Sarzuri told the Fides radio station that about 10,000 protesters gathered in Patacamaya, 100 kilometres south of La Paz, while another group blocked a road in Pisiga, in the province of Oruro.
"Police lifted the road blockade, but they caused one death," Sarzuri said of events in Patacamaya.
Bolivian authorities say the ban on older vehicles will control the growth of cars in the country, and will keep pollution, traffic and fuel consumption in check. An estimated 90 per cent of vehicles imported in recent years are 11-13 years old.