On August 28, 2012, Bolivian authorities seized two tons of solid material, presumably uranium or radioactive minerals, that were being transported from a property at a central district of La Paz, close to a number of diplomatic offices, under no security or protection measures.
Minister of Government Carlos Romero led the operative, which was conducted by special police units. Later, Mr. Romero informed [es] that laboratory tests and analysis determined that the material was “not radioactive. It will not produce any [health] risks”.
However, Romero also announced [es] further investigation by the Geologic and Mining National Service Sergeotecmin [es] and the Bolivian Institute of Science and Nuclear Technology. The potential radioactivity of the material remains therefore unclear.
Mainstream media reported on the event immediately and covered it throughout the day. Concerns and comments, including ironic ones, were also expressed on social media sites under the hashtag #uranio.
Blogger and journalist Andres Gómez Vela commented via his Twitter account (@andrsgomezv) [es]:
Moreover, netizens are criticising the precarious way in which such potential radioactive material was manipulated in the first place.
Andres Gómez Vela (@AndrsGomezV) [es] also pointed out:
Renan Justiniano (@renanjustiniano) [es] concluded:
Investigation into the nature and radioactivity of the minerals seized in La Paz is still under way.