Read us | Listen to us | Watch us | Join Live Events | Turn Off Ads | Live |

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu

Airport news: scores of foreign tourists trapped in Bolivian Andes

Written by editor

POTOSI, Bolivia – Anti-government protesters who for nine days have sealed off Potosi have seized the city’s airfield, stranding scores of foreign tourists in the Bolivian Andes.

POTOSI, Bolivia – Anti-government protesters who for nine days have sealed off Potosi have seized the city’s airfield, stranding scores of foreign tourists in the Bolivian Andes.

The action was the latest in a series of demonstrations by local residents, miners and peasants seeking the construction of a new cement factory, a larger airport and other actions from the government.

Alberto Encinas, a spokesman for the demonstrators, said the residents put stones around the airfield and some people with dynamite were surrounding the facility, keeping out anyone seeking to enter.

With the airport now paralyzed, all access into and out of Potosi has been cut off since protesters on Sunday blocked the area’s main highways with boulders, isolating the city’s 160,000 inhabitants.

The airport takeover came in conjunction with a large street demonstration that paralyzed the picturesque city, which at more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) is among the highest in the world.

“It is a protest march that was planned and received a massive presence of people,” union leader Celestino Condori said.

Friday’s actions kept small aircraft grounded along with tourists from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, who were unable to leave.

“I have two children and another person suffering asthma,” Frenchman Pascal Gujot told AFP. “We went to the Red Cross. They gave us some oxygen and recommended that we get to lower altitudes as quickly as possible. But we can’t get out” of the city.

“There’s no police, no army. It’s total anarchy,” he added.

Some tourists tried to leave by bus but were stopped at a roadblock.

“Things turned ugly. They threatened us with dynamite and the driver didn’t want to force his hand,” said Frenchman Romain Le Du.

He said some tourists were frantic “to keep deadlines, while others, younger people, were taking it in their stride.”

The protests have been ongoing since July 29 with workers and residents calling for more investment in the community from the government of President Evo Morales.