A bitter political power struggle in Bolivia has erupted into violence. Eyewitnesses said the clashes in the state of Santa Cruz started when police used tear gas against disabled demonstrators who have been protesting outside government offices for nearly a month complaining that they have not received welfare payments.
This comes against the background of a crisis that has left the South American country deeply divided.
The governors of five Bolivian regions are trying to block the wealth redistribution plans of left-wing President Evo Morales. Talks between Morales and the rightist governors have so far failed to resolve the crisis.
The governors want greater autonomy and a larger share of the country’s booming energy revenues which come from natural gas fields located in their states.