International Business Times reports:
Bolivia: Disabled protesters clash with riot police over state benefits in La Paz
By James Lillywhite
[to watch video, please use link at the bottom]
Disabled protesters clashed with riot police in Bolivia, as the call for a rise in state benefits in the country intensifies. Dozens of protesters could be seen throwing burning cardboard and pushing officers in La Paz on 29 April after a barrier was erected to stop the group from marching in the city centre.
About 150 disabled people have trekked more than 200 miles across the country to call on President Evo Morales to increase their benefits. They want to increase the current annual 1,000 boliviano (£99, $144) allowance to Bs6,000.
“We’ve come here peacefully as people with a disability but unfortunately the police used water, dirty water on us which has got our clothes, our supplies and our personal objects wet,” said protester, Patricia Salazar.
The Bolivian government say this rise is unrealistic, but are open to negotiations with the protesters. Local media say Morales has put aside Bs40m for the disabled.
Vicangelica Penhaloza, a protester at the rally, said, “We’re only asking for Bs500 which won’t even cover anything, not to rent a room. This Bs500 won’t cover anything. We could live well with Bs15,000.”
The attitude of the coca grower presidency is despicable! He rose to power with demagogue, has wasted over $150 billion dollars during the last ten years when there was an economic boom with our exports. Unfortunately for the handicapped, they are a small group that does represent enough votes for him to continue in power…