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Bolivian opposition governors end protests

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Bolivian opposition governors end protests

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Bolivia’s five rebel governors appear to have stepped back from the brink and signed an agreement to end three weeks of protests against the Socialist government.

The Governors will end occupations of government buildings and President Evo Morales will discuss their demands for more autonomy and a greater share of state energy revenue.

Bolivia is split into a poorer, high-altitude west, mostly populated by indigenous peoples, and the east, which is energy rich with an important white elite. It is the east that has revolted.

One Governor has been arrested and charged with the massacre of 15 peasant farmers during the unrest. Leopold Fernandez was the boss of Pando province, where martial law has been imposed to quell the violence.

The talks begin tomorrow, but the minority distrusts his plans to change the constitution, give unused land to the poor, and centralise power. Backed by a landslide in August, the army, and his fellow South American leaders, Morales may be unwilling to concede too much.