Bolivia to revoke mine licence after protests
President Evo Morales to revoke concessions of Canadian silver mine following violent opposition from Quechua Indians.
Bolivia’s president said he would revoke a mining concession from Canada’s South American Silver Corporation and give the state control of the site due to violent protests over the company’s plans.
The announcement on Wednesday is the second time in less than a month that President Evo Morales has given in to protesters’ demands for him to step up a drive to increase state control over natural resources in the poor Andean country.
Violence flared last week at South American Silver’s Malku Khota project after protesters held five Bolivian employees hostage to demand the Canadian company leave.
They hailed the president’s decision as a definitive solution to the conflict in which one protester was killed and a dozen more injured.
“The company [South American Silver] put brothers, brothers-in-law, cousins and neighbours at odds with one another,” Morales said at the presidential palace as he explained the deal between protesters and his government.
“How can we be at odds with each other over an international company that comes to loot our natural resources?” said Morales, an ally of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who has increased state control over the economy with a series of nationalisations.
Pictured: Bolivian president, Evo Morales, gave into protester demands regarding Canada’s South American Silver Corp [EPA]