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Kidnapped Bolivian Cabinet Ministers Released

Bolivian authorities say three Cabinet ministers have been released a day after they were kidnapped near the Brazilian border in a dispute over construction permits for foreign investors.

Police gave few details about the ministers' release.

The ministers: Carlos Villegas, Celinda Sosa, and Walter Villarroel, head Bolivia's planning, economic development and mining ministries. They were taken hostage Tuesday by local residents in the southwestern town of Puerto Suarez in Santa Cruz province.

Local officials in Puerto Suarez support plans by a Brazilian company, E.B.X., to build a large steel foundry in the area, but Bolivia's national government says foreign-owned projects are forbidden within 50 kilometers of the border.

The proposed steel plant would lie near Bolivia's famed El Mutton iron deposits, an orefield that may hold up to 70 percent of the world's known reserves of iron and magnesium.

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