Reporters on the Job

Housebound in Bolivia : Family members will often visit foreign correspondents while they're living and working abroad. Unfortunately, says correspondent Bill Faries, his relatives showed up in Bolivia in the midst of nearly a month of protests (page 1). "It's made it hard to get around La Páz. The protesters have cut off the gasoline and diesel supplies to the city. We usually take taxis or buses, but most don't have fuel now," he says. "My relatives have been pretty housebound."

The main area where tourists go - the San Francisco Plaza with its 450-year-old cathedral and traditional markets - is where the protesters gather, too. During what looked like a break in the action, Bill took his sister-in-law to an international photo exhibit in the city center.

"It was fairly calm when we went in. But after about 20 minutes I heard some explosions outside," Bill says. "I slipped away from my sister-in-law to see what was going on. The entire plaza was filled with tear gas. The police had arrived and were trying to clear the plaza. When she finished looking at the exhibit, we walked quickly away and caught a cab. There was still enough gas in the air to burn our eyes."

The blockade is choking off food supplies, too. Bread is scarce. "There are only a few roads leading to the city, so it's easy for a few dozen people to roll rocks into the street and stop traffic," says Bill.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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