Morales flees food price protests

Saturday 12 February 2011 01:00 GMT

Bolivian president Evo Morales has abruptly left the southern highlands city of Oruro after protesters angered by rising prices booed him and set off dynamite.

Mr Morales cancelled plans to participate in a march on Thursday, instead returning to the capital La Paz, after people in the mining city mounted protests against rising food prices and shortages of basic supplies. They are especially upset about a near-doubling in the price of sugar after the government lifted subsidies.

Once a hugely popular figure, Mr Morales' ratings have plummeted since he tried to lift subsidies on petrol, flour and sugar in December. He subsequently abandoned the effort.

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