Bolivian police vandalize La Paz headquarters (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Published time: June 22, 2012 18:40
Edited time: June 23, 2012 20:41
Police officers on strike vandalize the police intelligence headquarters and burn documents in La Paz, on June 22, 2012 during a police strike demanding a 70 percent salary increase (AFP Photo/Aizar Raldes)
Bolivian police striking over low wages turned violent, vandalizing police intelligence headquarters in the city of La Paz. At least three people have been injured as police clashed with anti-riot forces.
On Friday, scores of masked protesters attacked the police building. They threw furniture and documents outside, setting them on fire.
The police protests have spread nationwide, with some 4,000 officers occupying barracks. Police commanders did not participate in the mutiny.
President Evo Morales stayed in his palace on Friday, under military police protection, after returning early from a summit in Brazil.
Currently the average of salary of a Bolivian police officer is roughly $195 a month. The government has proposed to increase their pay to $287 a month, in order to suspend the acts of violence.
There are some 28,000 rank-and-file police officers in the country. A revolt over wages in 2003 at the same base resulted in a gunfight with soldiers that left 19 dead.
Police officers in civilian clothing yell slogans against the government during protests in La Paz June 22, 2012 (Reuters/David Mercado)
A police officer carries documents while looting with fellow policemen at a building which houses the legal department for disciplinary action against members of the police in La Paz June 22, 2012 (Reuters/David Mercado)
Police officers on strike vandalize the police intelligence headquarters and burn documents in La Paz, on June 22, 2012 (AFP Photo/Aizar Raldes)
Armed mutinied policemen stand on the roof of the police intelligence headquarters in La Paz, on June 22, 2012 (AFP Photo/Aizar Raldes)
Rioting police officers stand next to a pile of burning papers and office supplies after looting a building housing the legal department for disciplinary action against members of the police in La Paz June 22, 2012 (Reuters/David Mercado)
Police officers on strike vandalizing the police intelligence headquarters show beer cans found in the building in La Paz (AFP Photo/Aizar Raldes)