Transport strike paralyzes Bolivian capital

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iol news pic Bolivia transport strike REUTERS Ramon Santos (L), Spain's ambassador to Bolivia, walks with to Jose Folgado, President and Chairman of Red Electrica Corporacion SA, during a nationwide transportation strike after their compensation negotiation meeting with Bolivia's Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy Juan Jose Sosa in La Paz May 7, 2012. On May 1, Bolivia's leftist President Evo Morales ordered the army to take over the Cochabamba headquarters of power transmission firm Empresa Transportadora de Electricidad (TdE), a unit of Spain's Red Electrica Espanola. REUTERS/Gaston Brito

La Paz -

A transport strike snarled the Bolivian capital for a second day on Tuesday as bus and taxi drivers blocked roads across the city to protest new government regulations.

Interior Minister Carlos Romero told local television that protesters had set up barricades at 40 locations around the city.

The strike, sparked by a new law that tightens regulation of the public transport system, forced the suspension of public school classes for a second day, driving hundreds of commuters to hike to work and others to stay home.

Those trying to get through pickets on the way to work reported angry encounters with the demonstrators.

“They were attacking private vehicles,” said Arturo Quispe, president of a federation of neighborhood organizations.

“We all have the right to protest, but not to assault. This is reprehensible and is earning them the public's repudiation.”

The leftist government of President Evo Morales has been hit by a wave of labor and social unrest over a variety of issues in recent weeks.

The Bolivian Workers Confederation has called a 72-hour general strike starting Wednesday to push for pay increases. - Sapa-AFP

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