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Journalists detained briefly, threatened by protesting miners

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 30 July 2008, a group of miners, members of Bolivia's Main Workers' Union (Central Obrera Boliviana), held captive some twenty journalists, photographers and camera operators for more than three hours. The media personnel were kept in the second floor of the Communications Palace building, a government headquarters in La Paz where several ministries are housed. According to the miners, the move was aimed at pressuring the government to take into account their demands regarding changes to the pension law.

The miners forced their way into the government building. Rafael Ramirez, a journalist for "La Prensa" daily, told IPYS that he managed to escape along with photographer Pedro Laguna, of "La Razón" newspaper.

Subsequently, photographer Javier Paz fled the scene with a number of journalists, jumping over one of the building's walls. He told IPYS the workers toned down their actions because several of the camera operators were taping their actions.

The journalists said the miners were angry with them and accused them of being the "oligarchy's press". The workers tore Paz's knapsack and harassed several journalists. The miners left the building the following day.

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