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Clashes between police and coca growers return in Bolivia

The clashes between coca producers and the police returned on Monday and left at least two injured, detained and destroyed in a house a week after disputes for control of a coca market in La Paz. Bolivia.

The neighborhood of Villa Fátima, to the north of the city, was once again the battlefield between police who fired tear gas and coca growers who fired stones and firecrackers in the midst of passersby and homes. The clashes continued into the night.

In the afternoon a part of the fourth floor burned until firefighters came to put out the fire. The owners of the property blamed the police while the police force denied this fact.

Neighbors came out to ask that the problem be resolved once and for all because their properties and businesses are in danger.

Television images showed a wounded man who fell from a rock and another with a head wound. Authorities have not yet released an official report.

“Please, comrades, we don’t want to face each other. Let us enter our market, we are not going to confront each other, ”the coca grower, Mónica Gonzales, said with an indigenous flag in her hands.

The police arrested six people. The conflict began last Monday when a group of the disputed coca growers took control of the market. The other group accuses the government and the police of sponsoring them.

The shock is getting stronger. Five police vehicles were burned on Friday.

Vice President David Choquehuanca has summoned the sectors to meetings to seek agreements, but so far no rapprochement has been achieved.

The dispute is over the control of a legal market in Villa Fátima, where producers and merchants sell the leaf for traditional use such as chewing and infusions, but various studies say that much of the production is diverted to the manufacture of cocaine from the that Bolivia is the third largest producer in the world after Colombia and Peru.



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