Bolivians won't block Dakar Rally on salt flats

Aymara Indians withdraw threat to block Dakar Rally from crossing Bolivia salt flats

Bolivians won't block Dakar Rally on salt flats

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -- An Aymara Indian group says it won't try to block the vehicles in the Dakar Rally from crossing Bolivia's high-altitude salt flats.

Some Aymara had said they feared the motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles could leave deep marks on the shiny white surface of the flats, and that crowds for the rally would leave trash and scare off flamingos.

The announcement Tuesday by the National Council of the Ayllus and Markus of the Qullasuyu came after the government of President Evo Morales said it would send 3,500 security force members to the area to guarantee the passage of competitors in the Argentina to Chile rally.

Group leader Guillermo Mamani said the Aymara don't want confrontation, "we want dialogue and to look after the place where we live."

Updated : 2021-02-25 13:24 GMT+08:00