Cooperative miners give Mesa thumbs-up

Thursday, October 23, 2003

The president of Bolivia's mining cooperatives federation (Fencomin), Florencio Coca, has given his backing to the country's new president, Carlos Mesa, local press reported.

Coca took the opportunity to invite President Mesa to participate in the cooperatives' congress to be held October 28 and 29 in the southwest town of Oruro.

At the congress a document laying out an agenda of responsibility and productivity in the mining sector will be presented to delegates. It will outline the state's commitment to the cooperative mining sector to enable it to go from being an artisan activity to being more business-like, the reports said.

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Mesa took office last Friday as interim president following the resignation of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, who fled the country after a series of protests left dozens dead. Miners, especially from the Huanuni district, had led many of the demonstrations against Sanchez de Lozada, who owns Bolivia's largest mining company, Comsur.