Hundreds of striking miners in Bolivia have occupied a hydro-electric station which supplies power to the San Cristobal mine. The mine is owned by Japanese company Sumitomo Corp and it is located in the southern Potosi region.
The silver, zinc and lead mine has been forced to suspend some operations partially stopping production. It is extracting ore but not processing it. Other mining companies Coeur D'Alene and Glencore reported that anti-government protests had brought their mining operations to a standstill on Wednesday.
Protesters are demanding government investment in their region including expansion of the airport, new roads and construction of a cement factory. The protesters have also been staging hunger strikes demanding President Evo Morales visit the area and negotiate with them.
The Government has refused to use force to break the blockade. With road and air links blocked, food supplies are running low and some foreign tourists have been stranded. The general strike has been running for the past fortnight.