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Violent Protests Against Constitutional Change in Bolivia


Protesters angry with the Bolivian government's efforts to rewrite the country's constitution have taken to the streets in violent demonstrations in Sucre that killed at least three people including a police officer.

The protesters set fire to Sucre's jail Sunday, allowing at least 100 prisoners to escape. Police were ordered to withdraw from Sucre to avoid more confrontations.

The demonstrators oppose a new draft of Bolivia's constitution which was approved Saturday in the Constitutional Assembly by delegates from President Evo Morales's Movement for Socialism Party.

Opposition parties boycotted the assembly.

The proposed constitution would permit Mr. Morales an indefinite number of terms in office. It would also relocate Bolivia's executive and legislative branches of government to Sucre from their present home in La Paz.

Mr. Morales says the new constitution will give Bolivia's indigenous majority more political power. Critics say the new constitution unfairly reduces the power of Bolivia's nine states.

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