Bolivian strike over census delay paralyzes agriculture export hub By Stocksak

© Stocksak. FILEPHOTO: A worker sweeps soy beans in a Santa Cruz packing facility, November 30, 2007. REUTERS/Andres Stapff/File Photo

LA PAZ (Stocksak), Thousands of Bolivians launched an indefinite strike Saturday in Santa Cruz, Bolivia’s lowland city, to protest the postponement and delay of a population- and housing census, which hinders access to economic resources.

Police reported one death from clashes between people who accepted and those who refused to accept the strike. Television news images showed many highways blocked, empty streets, and markets and businesses closing.

The census results are important in determining the composition of the Bolivian parliament and the distribution of economic resources.

Vicente Cuellar from Bolivia’s committee to promote census said that 2024 and 2025 were not “opportunes” for the census because of the scheduled election in 2025.

Lawmakers called for calm and said they would continue to talk until an agreement can be reached that can end the indefinite strike.

Official estimates indicate that Bolivia has around 12 million inhabitants. Santa Cruz, however, is home to 3.3 million.

Santa Cruz is considered to be the bastion of Bolivia’s economy. It is also the main livestock and agricultural producer. It is well-known for its production of soybeans and sunflowers, sugarcane, corn, rice, and wheat.

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