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Peru imposes martial law to thwart general strike

The government suspended civil rights throughout Peru Wednesday in a bid to thwart plans for a one-day general strike today. A spokesman for President Fernando Belaunde Terry said the suspension would ''guarantee the right to work for those who wish to do so'' on the day of the strike. He said the government would pay the equivalent of an extra $1 to every Peruvian who goes to his job on Thursday. That amount represents about a half-day's pay in Peru, where the minimum monthly salary is $70.

The four most important labor coalitions in Peru called a 24-hour general strike for today to demand a radical change in government economic policy, which they blame for 125 percent inflation and spreading unemployment.

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