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Bolivian police mutiny over pay, bolstered by wives

A policeman carrying two weapons walks through a parking lot during the occupation of the Unidad Tactica de Operaciones de la Policia (UTOP), or Tactical Operations Police Unit, in protest for salary increases in La Paz, Bolivia, Thursday, June 21, 2012. Some Bolivian police joined the protest for higher wages, that was initiated by their wives four days ago. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

LA PAZ, Bolivia - About 30 members of an elite Bolivian police commando unit have mutinied in La Paz, expelling their commanders and seizing their barracks along with their wives in a wage dispute. The barracks are just 100 metres from Bolivia's presidential palace.

The protesters are demanding wages on par with soldiers and a pension equal to 100 per cent of their salaries. Police earn about $144 a month.

A 2003 revolt at the same barracks over wages led to a gunfight with soldiers in which 19 people were killed, mostly police.

Bolivia has 33,000 police and their institution is considered be among the country's most corrupt.

President Evo Morales was out of the country Thursday in Brazil

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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