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Campaigner violence: not known Repressive Violence: The nonviolent campaign of the El Alto sex workers was catalyzed by a violent rampage of El Alto brothels and bars. They then began a three-day rampage of the bars and brothels in the impoverished red-lights district of El Alto.

The police monitored the events but did not take action to stop the violence or reprimand the citizens who had attacked the sex workers. In response to the mobs, the El Alto Mayor Fanor Nava and the El Alto municipal government closed all brothels within 1, feet of schools.

In the week following the closing of these brothels, prostitutes were forced to seek work on the streets rather than inside of establishments. On the streets, police harassed sex workers both physically and verbally, threatening to arrest them.

Starting on 17 October 35, sex workers went on strike across the country of Bolivia by refusing to attend medical checkups. The strike began with a core group of about 30 sex workers in El Alto and then spread across the nation. The Bolivian government required prostitutes to report for these medical checkups every 20 days in order to legally perform their work. The sex workers continued their work without health certification, however, which raised public health risks for sexually transmitted diseases.

Cortez and the sex workers of El Alto used the publicity to announce two more threats of action if the El Alto government did not re-open the brothels or allow sex workers more rights by the following day - marching nude down the streets of El Alto and burying themselves alive.

The mayor will have his conscience to answer to if there are any grave consequences, such as the death of my comrades. On 29 October the El Alto government agreed to work on legislation that would protect the rights of sex workers, forming a mediation committee committee on the issues in the El Alto House of Representatives.

No documentation showed that this report was received favorably by the La Paz government. Sources: Anon. Azcui, Mabel. Retrieved May 16, Friedman-Rudovsky, Jean. Global Network of Sex Work Projects. Vaca, Mart. Copyright Swarthmore College. Original website design and artwork created by Daniel Hunter. Registered users can login to the website.


Sex workers strike for rights in El Alto, Bolivia



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