Bolivia: police clash with disabled

After traveling 100 days cross-country, Bolivia’s “Wheelchair Caravan for Integration” arrived in La Paz Feb. 24, demanding measures to accommodate social inclusion of the disabled, as well as an annual state subsidy of 3,000 bolivianos, or about $400—up from the current $120. Some 250 in wheelchairs and on crutches covered more than 1,500 kilometers from the city of Trinidad, living off aid provided by communities along the way. Arriving at the capital’s central Plaza Murillo, they attempted to push past riot police who barred their way—and were met with truncheons and pepper-spray. The protesters were able to establish an encampment a block away from the plaza, where the local press reported two “crucified” themselves. March organizer Camilo Bianchi said from his wheelchair that they would not move until their demands are met. “We don’t want to use radical methods, but they are forcing us to,” he said. (Opinión, Opinión, Cochabamba, Feb. 25; EFE, BBC News, Televisa, La Gran Epóca, Feb. 24)

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