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Renewed Protests Erupt in Bolivian Capital

Renewed protests have erupted in Bolivia's capital as demonstrators massed in the streets and set up roadblocks to press for the nationalization of the energy sector.

As the protesters crowded the streets of La Paz Thursday, President Carlos Mesa's government rejected suggestions that international mediation could be needed to resolve the crisis.

The remark came one day after the U.S. State Department said Bolivia will be discussed at a meeting in Florida next week of the Organization of American States General Assembly.

Bolivia's Congress recently passed a bill to increase taxes on foreign oil companies, but opponents say it does not go far enough.

The measure calls for the firms to pay a 32 percent tax on production, in addition to an 18 percent royalty tax they already pay.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.