Santa Cruz Sends 3500 Kilos of Food to Potosi
El Mundo, Santa Cruz, 14 August 2010: After 17 days of blockades and strikes in Potosí (Bolivia), 3500 Kilograms of dry foods were donated by Santa Cruz and flown to the area. Bolivian airline Aerosur donated the flight to Sucre as well as overland transfer of provisions to Potosí. Donations were collected thanks to an initiative by first lady of Santa Cruz, Sonia Vincenti, and the members of the Santa Cruz Women's Civic Committee.
Vincenti thanked Santa Cruz departmental employees and the population for having donated this amount in just two days. Likewise, she reported that 350 packages of water, bottles, buckets, blankets and medications were also sent.
A resident of Potosí, Ingrid Barrientos, thanked Santa Cruz institutions for their cooperation, which she says will help soothe some of the shortages the inhabitants of Potosí are facing.
On Thursday Santa Cruz Governor Rubén Costas remarked on the solidarity shown by Santa Cruz and lamented the situation the people of Potosí are experiencing. "It's their legitimate right to fight for their revindication. I expect this conflict will be solved soon", he assured.
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Source: El Mundo
The Department of Potosí and the Department of Oruro are disputing the exact location of the border between these two states as both are claiming rights over important mineral sources in the area. In addition, Potosí has made several other demands of the government, including the construction of a road, an airport, a refinery and a cement factory.
There are over 100 hunger strikes in Potosí, where protesters have cut the city off by blockading all access roads. Potosí is taking other measures as well, such as the take-over of an important hydro-electric plant which provides energy to area mines. Oruro has warned if negotiations between Potosí and the government do not result in a solution this weekend, Oruro will mobilize on Monday.
Numerous tourists (the Bolivian government estimates anywhere from 50 to 100) are still stranded in the area as well, where food, water, medications and funds are now running low.