Police Violence against Amazon March Forces Resignation of Bolivian Minister

Police violence against marchers protesting the Bolivian government's construction of a highway through the heart of a protected area of the Amazon, which reportedly lead to the death of a 3-month old child, has cost the Bolivian Minister of Defense Cecilia Chacón her job. Chacón presented a letter of resignation to President Evo Morales on Monday.

The march by the indigenous people the Tipnis turned violent when police gassed protestors when they were resting in a small town in the department of Beni, Bolivia. The marchers were on their way to the Bolivian capital of La Paz. According to reports, police tried to force protestors into buses, causing some to flee into the jungle and  causing many children to become separated from their parents. Dozens of children are missing.

On August 15, 2011 natives embarked on a march to a 300km highway the Bolivian government is promoting. It is to be built through the heart of the Tipnis homeland in a protected area of the Amazon, threatening to leave thousands of natives homeless.

With reporting from Raquel Gorny in Bolivia.

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