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Bolivia Nationalizes Power Companies

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced Saturday that he is nationalizing several private electricity companies.

Officials had said that police had moved into the offices of at least three power companies, including the British-run company Guaracachi, and Corani, which is controlled by a subsidiary of France's GDF Suez.

The Reuters news agency quoted a police official who said officers were enforcing a presidential decree nationalizing the companies.

President Morales nationalized the hydrocarbons industry in 2006 and the country's main telephone company in 2008. Both announcements came on May Day.

Mr. Morales was first elected in 2005, and is Bolivia's first indigenous head of state.

In the 2008 announcement taking over the telephone company, the Bolivian leader said his government was also taking control of four foreign-owned energy firms. In 2006, he forced oil and gas companies to negotiate new contracts that gave Bolivia's state-owned YPFB a majority share of the revenues generated.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.