Mudslide buries gold mining camp, 50 feared dead

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — A mudslide blamed on El Ni¤o’s heavy rains dumped tons of mud and rocks on a gold mine camp near Bolivia’s border with Peru early Wednesday, killing as many as 50 people, officials said.
Rescue crews recovered 19 bodies by midafternoon, presidential press secretary Patricia Balda told The Associated Press. Twenty-one more miners were missing and feared dead, she said.
But the head of the civil defense agency, Carlos Montero, said the death toll may reach 50.
The mudslide occurred in the Mocotoro camp in the Tipuani mountains, about 130 miles northwest of the Bolivian capital, La Paz.
Balda said heavy rains in recent days in the area were caused by El Ni¤o, a period warming of water in the Pacific Ocean that has caused serious damage throughout Latin America this year.
Montero said President Hugo Banzer ordered the military to help the Red Cross and the Civil Defense in the rescue operations.