Bolivia police end strike


Low rank policemen on strike wait with their wives at the Plaza de Armas in La Paz for results about negotiations with President Evo Morales on June 26, 2012.



Bolivia police have ended their strike over low pay after signing a deal to raise their salaries by a reported 20 percent.

One of the poorest nations in Latin America, Bolivia has a statutory minimum salary of $144 a month, and median pay in 2011 was around $546 monthly, according to EFE.

The agreement raises the minimum wage of Bolivia's 32,000 police officers to about $300 a month and removes strict new disciplinary rules until an alternative can be reached with input from lower-ranking officers, reported Reuters.

"With this, the mutiny is over. The final accord, which was reviewed with all our members, is signed. ... Police services will return to normal," said officer Esther Corzon, a police representative who signed the deal.

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The protests turned violent last week when officers took control of numerous police stations, according to BBC News. The government accused the officers of setting the stage for a coup and sent out the army to take over police duties. The officers insisted they only wanted their pay to be equal to that of the soldiers.

Just as the police dispute was resolved, about 1,500 Indians from the Amazon arrived in La Paz to protest President Evo Morales's plan to build a highway through a nature preserve, reported the Associated Press.