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Protesters in Bolivia end their strike

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Southwest Bolivia had been rocked by protests for nearly three weeks
  • Residents of Potosi region wanted more investment in infrastructure, jobs
  • U.S. State Department issued a travel alert last week

(CNN) -- Protesters in southwest Bolivia, who had all but shut the Andean city of Potosi for 19 days, ended their general strike on Monday, the state news agency reported.

Thousands of the 160,000 residents of Potosi, the capital of the province of the same name, had mounted a blockade that cut off road, train and air traffic with the rest of the country. The protesters were upset at what they saw as the government's failure to invest enough in their region.

Potosi, once extraordinarily rich in silver, is best known as a mining town.

Protesters agreed to lift their blockade, and traffic slowly began to return to normal, after government officials agreed to work on the groups' demands, ABI news agency reported. It said the two sides agreed to a six-point plan that included promises to restart a mine, work on roads, build an international airport and a cement factory.

Officials also said they would work toward the preservation of a heavily mined mountain and set up a commission to solve the territorial dispute between Potosi and a neighboring province, Oruro, ABI reported.

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert last week for U.S. citizens living in or visiting Bolivia because of the unrest.

Bolivia is a landlocked nation in South America and one of the continent's poorest.