LA PAZ – Mass transport unions staging a 24-hour strike in the Bolivian capital blocked roads Wednesday to protest fines and other penalties imposed by the municipal government.
Drivers of minibuses and “trufis” (shared, fixed-route taxis), which are used by the vast majority of La Paz residents, used their vehicles and formed picket lines to blockade roads, although EFE observed that police had cleared the main thoroughfares in the capital’s downtown.
Even so, roadblocks in at least 40 points of the city and on routes leading to and from the neighboring city of El Alto triggered major traffic jams and forced authorities to cancel classes at the city’s schools.
Strikers also blockaded a highway leading to the international airport in El Alto, which serves La Paz, and attacked other drivers who were trying to work their normal routes amid the protest.
Despite the job action, most stores, banks and outdoor markets were operating normally, local media reported.
The unions reject penalties that the municipal government has imposed on drivers who fail to comply with rules aimed at improving transportation service.
The mass transport sector is particularly irate over fines they say are excessive and the seizure of vehicle registration as punishment for recurrent infractions.