A mine in La Paz, Bolivia that was seized by President Evo Morales in June saw the conflict escalate on Tuesday with miners throwing sticks of dynamite at each other as well as rocks in a street battle that lasted an hour. At least seven were injured in the fray. This seems a poor way to resolve what is essentially a political conflict, but apparently these miners were in such a frenzy that only a street fight would satiate them.
The battle has been raging between the miners for months, between the union workers and independent miners. The government took control of the Colquiri mine under the direction of Morales, which was highly criticized by the mine's owner. The miners themselves continued to fight as to who has the right to mine there in the most rich sections. It is unclear whether this is an issue of job security or whether the miners who work in the richer sections actually get paid more.
Deputy Interior Minister Jorge Perez said that six mine workers and one civilian who happened to be passing by were hurt in the street fight. "Dialogue must be imposed, the government is summoning both sides because no agreement can be reached until there's pacification," Perez said.
You'd think that miners know better than to use a volatile substance like dynamite to engage in some sort of bar fight, but witnesses said thousands of miners were involved, the independent miners throwing sticks of dynamite at the union workers, who were guarding the Miners' Federation Labor Organization. The union workers are expected to demand Evo Morales remove the independent miners.
Gabriel Legend covers a wide range of breaking news for Gather. He writes fiction as well, with his first novel coming out in 2013. You can follow on Twitter at @GabrielLegend1 or contact him directly here.