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Petrobras makes its entry into eastern Bolivia official

La Paz, Mar 3 (EFE).- Brazilian state-controlled oil giant Petrobras signed a contract over the weekend with Bolivian state-owned energy company YPFB covering petroleum exploration in Cedro, an area in eastern Bolivia, officials said. YPFB CEO Carlos Villegas and Petrobras Bolivia chief Erick Portela signed the contract on Sunday, opening the way for the start of exploration in Cedro, YPFB said in a statement. "In the next few days, the Brazilian oil company will present its work plan and budget to YPFB," the Bolivian energy company said.

4 Die in footbridge collapse in Bolivia

La Paz, Mar 2 (EFE).- Four people were killed and 60 others injured when a footbridge collapsed during the carnival in the Bolivian city of Oruro, officials said Sunday. The accident, which occurred on Saturday, is under investigation, the Oruro province prosecutor's office said. "We have decided to begin criminal proceedings against subjects to investigate this incident due to the magnitude of dead and injured," Oruro Attorney General Orlando Riveros told the official ABI news agency. Police experts will determine why the walkway collapsed, Riveros said.

4 Die in footbridge collapse in Bolivia

La Paz, Mar 2 (EFE).- Four people were killed and 60 others injured when a footbridge collapsed during the carnival in the Bolivian city of Oruro, officials said Sunday. The accident, which occurred on Saturday, is under investigation, the Oruro province prosecutor's office said. "We have decided to begin criminal proceedings against subjects to investigate this incident due to the magnitude of dead and injured," Oruro Attorney General Orlando Riveros told the official ABI news agency. Police experts will determine why the walkway collapsed, Riveros said.

Slain French couple's kin to appeal Bolivia acquittals

The families of a French couple who disappeared in Bolivia are to appeal the acquittal of three alleged accomplices to the man jailed for 30 years for their murders. Tourists Jeremie Bellanger, 25, and Fannie Blancho, 23, went missing in August 2010 while traveling in a village in northern Bolivia, part of a months-long dream holiday in South America. The couple's bodies have never been found. Their parents were present on Thursday when a Bolivian court sentenced Jaime Martinez to 30 years in jail without the possibility of parole for the murders of the couple.

Bolivia seeks 30 years for French couple's murder

Court deliberations were underway Thursday at the trial of a Bolivian man accused in the 2010 murders of a young French couple. Prosecutors asked the court to convict the defendant, Jaime Martinez, 31, and sentence him to 30 years in prison with no possibility for parole. French tourists Jeremie Bellanger, 25, and Fannie Blancho, 23, went missing while traveling in the village of Guayaramerin in northeastern Bolivia.

Bolivia floods kill 38, more heavy rains forecast

LA PAZ (Reuters) - Torrential rain and floods in Bolivia have killed 38 people and left many homeless, said the government on Thursday, as forecasters predicted more heavy rainfall with the north of the Andean country again likely to be the worst affected. The Ministry of Defense said it had flown in food aid and the army was evacuating families from the worst affected regions, such as the Amazonian and cattle-rearing department of Beni, northeast of the capital La Paz.

Bolivia arrests 18 Italians in made-in-Germany scam

A group of 18 Italians and 2 Bolivians were arrested in Bolivia for a scam to falsely pass off industrial equipment as made in Germany, the prosecutor said Thursday. The suspects are accused of "passing off false products as genuine," prosecutor Humberto Quispe told reporters. "These people sold construction appliances" made in China that they passed off as German, the Director of the Special Force to Fight Crime, Fernando Mercado, said at a press conference. "That was the scam," he said.

Morales on hand for Brazil's Petrobras gas expansion

Brazilian state energy giant Petrobras said Friday it was boosting production at its Itau gas plant in Bolivia. The company said it was to inaugurate new facilities in the presence of Bolivian President Evo Morales. The plant came on stream in February 2011 with initial production of 1.5 million cubic meters of gas per day in the southern province of Tarija near the border with Argentina. Petrobras is operating the field in partnership with British Gas, Total of France and BYPFB Chaco, a subsidiary of Bolivian state-owned energy company YPFB.

Morales on hand for Brazil's Petrobras gas expansion

Brazilian state energy giant Petrobras said Friday it was boosting production at its Itau gas plant in Bolivia. The company said it was to inaugurate new facilities in the presence of Bolivian President Evo Morales. The plant came on stream in February 2011 with initial production of 1.5 million cubic meters of gas per day in the southern province of Tarija near the border with Argentina. Petrobras is operating the field in partnership with British Gas, Total of France and BYPFB Chaco, a subsidiary of Bolivian state-owned energy company YPFB.

Japan's Sumitomo invests $1.8 bn in Bolivia

La Paz, Jan 21 (EFE).- Japan's Sumitomo Corp. said it invested $1.8 billion in the development of mining subsidiary San Cristobal, which produces lead, zinc and silver in southwestern Bolivia. Sumitomo executive Hiruo Makusaki discussed the project with reporters after meeting with Bolivian President Evo Morales in La Paz on Monday. Sumitomo has controlled 100 percent of San Cristobal, the largest mine in Bolivia, since 2009. The Japanese trading company acquired San Cristobal from U.S.-based Apex Silver Mines, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009.
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