Sixteen miners have been killed in fights over the control of Huanuni, the biggest tin mine in Bolivia.
The fight was over whether the mine would remain in state hands, or be given to a “co-operative” - essentially privatisation, as such co-ops have a strictly tiered managerial system, no effective workers’ involvement and very low wages for workers employed by the privately controlled board. Trade unions are prohibited.
The Bolivian state company COMIBOL took over control of the mine after the bankruptcy of British owners RBG Resources, leaving management in the hands of the workers. The