Amazon protesters in Bolivia accuse police of being heavy-handed

Amazon protesters in Bolivia accuse police of being heavy-handed
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Indigenous Bolivian protesters claim dozens of people are missing after the police cracked down on a demonstration near the capital La Paz. Protesters clashed violently with police, who they accuse of killing a three month old baby.

The demonstrations are against the proposed building of a new highway that would benefit the country’s coca growers, at the expense of the Amazon tribes. Bolivian President Evo Morales is the country’s first indigenous leader, however, he started his political career as an activist for coca growers. The indigenous protesters say Morales is betraying them by allowing the 300 kilometre highway through territory belonging to the indigenous people.

The protesters have been marching for a month from their Amazon homeland to the capital, La Paz.

The highway is threatening support for Morales, as several members of his government have sided with the indigenous people, though the defiant president is determined to press on with the plans.

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