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Cablegate: Transit Strike Continues

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #2724 2831955
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101955Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0824
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6168
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3482
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7343
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4605
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1859
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 1900
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4069
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4495
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9070
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS LA PAZ 002724

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON BL
SUBJECT: TRANSIT STRIKE CONTINUES


1. (U) La Paz public transportation workers began a 24-hour
strike October 9 to protest La Paz Mayor Juan del Granado's
plan for redirecting downtown traffic. The city implemented
the plan October 6 to improve traffic flows; transportation
workers complain that the new routes are causing confusion
and loss of income. Late October 9, after the municipality
announced that it would not withdraw its plan for the
improvements, workers extended the strike "indefinitely."
While the strike has been mostly pacific, there have been
isolated cases of physical violence or property damage
(mostly tire slashing) against bus drivers who attempted to
pass strikers' blockades.

2. (SBU) Comment: Negotiations continue October 10 to resolve
the La Paz strike, but even if successful, a larger
nationwide transportation strike (including public and
private transportation) is scheduled for October 12-13. The
nationwide strike will protest the GOB's possible
legalization of over 50,000 illegally imported autos, which
would boost GOB revenue (due to a delayed importation tax)
but would flood the auto market, resulting in unwanted
competition for transportation workers. The Embassy is
operating with essential personnel October 10 and is
providing transportation for all employees. We will continue
to monitor these strikes closely. End comment.
GOLDBERG

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