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news nugget

Bolivian miners duke it out

HUANUNI, Bolivia (AP) -- The Bolivian government deployed 700 additional police to quell a deadly clash that flared anew on Friday as rival bands of miners hurled dynamite at one another in a battle over one of South America's richest tin mines.

This is why I don't buy canned goods. Oppressed, angry Bolivians.

Officials say at least 11 people have been killed and more than 50 injured in fighting between independent miners' cooperatives allied with President Evo Morales and miners employed by Bolivia's state mining company.

So really, it's a fight between the Bolivian president and Bolivia. Sounds productive.

A truce on Thursday night lasted just long enough for both sides to bury their dead.

And buy more dynamite.

But at dawn Friday, hostilities renewed on the barren slopes of Posokoni Mountain, which looms over this small mining town 290 kilometers (180 miles) south of the capital of La Paz. Miners from both sides threw dynamite and homemade explosives at each other from ridge to ridge, sometimes separated by no more than 50 feet (15 meters).

I can't even picture this without thinking in cartoon images.

Miners, some only in their teens, carried sticks of dynamite in backpacks and tucked in their belts.

Teenagers with dynamite in their pants. In Bolivia, it's not a metaphor.

In town, residents held a prayer vigil in the local church for the violence to end. Blood stains and holes from explosives littered a soccer field in the Dolores neighborhood following fighting there Thursday.

The town hopes to resolve the dynamite fighting soon so that it can focus on ending the soccer-related bloodshed.

On Friday morning, members of the miners' cooperative rolled three tires packed with explosives down the side of the mountain toward town, causing an enormous explosion.

Really? That's weird. A big tire full of explosives caused an explosion. I would have expected the spontaneous growth of ten-foot daisies.

Bolivia's National Police Commander Isaac Pimentel told a news conference that 700 more police would be sent to the area, but Government Minister Alicia Munoz added shortly afterward that the police would not carry lethal weapons.

In fact, the officers will be shot in the face as they disembark the trucks. To save the miners the trouble.

Overnight talks led by senior government officials failed to achieve a lasting agreement. Defense Minister Walker San Miguel blamed "intransigents that have not signed on to the cease-fire," but said he hoped the rivals might return to negotiations.
"We do not believe the doors of dialogue have been shut," he said.


"And if they have been, we can just blow them open again. I know some guys with some dynamite."

Jerson Mollinedo, director of the state-employed miners' union, said his group wants peace, but not at any price.
"We don't want any more orphans," he said. "But we will not surrender even a millimeter to the cooperatives, because as a business we too want to employ our fellow workers."


"Plus, that orphan thing isn't all bad. The Chinese are raking it in on orphan sales. Maybe we can get a piece of that action."

The conflict turned deadly on Thursday morning, as hundreds of miners belonging to independent cooperatives stormed the state-owned Huanuni mine, demanding more access to its tin deposits. State-employed miners counterattacked to regain control of the mine and the groups exchanged gunshots and flying sticks of dynamite.

They thought about making it a white elephant, but the guys just weren't into it.

Independent miner Felix Condori told The Associated Press, "It rained dynamite."

"And the blood of my enemies."


Please, kids, don't put the dynamite in your pants.

5 Responses to “news nugget”

  1. # Anonymous bekah

    Teenagers with dynamite in their pants. In Bolivia, it's not a metaphor.

    Holy shit. That's great.  

  2. # Anonymous hahahahahanonymous

    As is: "The town hopes to resolve the dynamite fighting soon so that it can focus on ending the soccer-related bloodshed."  

  3. # Anonymous stillllolanonymous

    and
    "And if they have been, we can just blow them open again. I know some guys with some dynamite."  

  4. # Anonymous Chickie

    News is much better when it's being regurgitated by you. I shall start only keeping up with current events that are found at Words.  

  5. # Anonymous r.fuel

    Sweet.  

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