Bolivian Official Beaten to Death by Protesters

Bolivian Official Beaten to Death by ProtestersBolivian Official Beaten to Death by Protesters

The Bolivian government says its deputy interior minister has been kidnapped and killed by striking miners. Rodolfo Illanes and his bodyguard were seized earlier on Thursday at a roadblock in Panduro, south of La Paz, official said. Interior Minister Carlos Romero said “all indications” were that Illanes had been murdered in a “cowardly and brutal” attack. Two miners also died from gunshot wounds during clashes with police, BBC reported. Illanes was beaten to death at about 18:00 local time (0000 GMT), La Razon newspaper quoted Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira as saying. The authorities could not for the moment retrieve his body, the minister said. More than 100 arrests had been made, he said. While he was being held, Illanes told Bolivian radio that a condition for his release was that the government negotiate with miners over new legislation. The miners have been blocking a highway in Panduro since Tuesday. The National Federation of Mining Cooperatives of Bolivia, once strong allies of President Evo Morales, began what they said would be an indefinite protest after negotiations failed. Protesters have been demanding more mining concessions, the right to work for private companies and greater union representation.