After a series of protests over the last few days, government officials signed an agreement this morning with police officers who were demanding a salary increase in Bolivia. Throughout the last five days, the police officers’ demands, and their rejection of an offer made by Minister of the Interior Carlos Romero on Sunday had led to escalating riots in the city of La Paz that ended today after the agreement was announced.
The National Police in Bolivia stated that the new agreement includes a monthly salary increase of 100 bolivianos (about 14 dollars) and the suspension of the law Ley 101, introduced by President Evo Morales in April 2011, that lays out disciplinary measures that can be used against police officers. The agreement also includes the creation of a Police Defense Group and the formation of a commission to investigate and analyze retirement funds.
In a press conference this morning, Minister of Interior Romero also announced that the government has promised to not persecute any of the protestors involved in rioting and violence during the past few days. Vice-President Álvaro García Linera who, along with President Evo Morales, had warned that the instability resulting from the officers’ protesting was being manipulated by the opposition in order to attempt a coup, announced the importance of peaceful negotiations for resolving tensions like this one. García Linera, as quoted in Telesur, stated that the government has, in cases like this one, always “employed a strategy of peaceful resolution for situations of high conflict…without falling into populist or irresponsible temptations.”