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Corinthians fans protest outside Bolivia consulate
March 03, 2013 , 10 : 58 am
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Supporters of Brazilian Corinthians football club take part in a demonstration in front of the Bolivian consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Twelve supporters of Brazilian Corinthians remain in prison. Photo - AFP
Scores of Corinthians fans staged a protest outside the Bolivian consulate here Saturday to demand the release of 12 colleagues held in Bolivia over the accidental death of a youth during a Libertadores Cup match.
The estimated 60 supporters of the Sao Paulo club also held a minute of silence in memory of Kevin Espada, the 14-year-old Bolivian killed by a flare fired by a Brazilian fan during Corinthians' away game against San Jose in the Bolivian town of Oruro last month.
Under the watchful eye of police, the protesters stood outside the consulate, chanting "We Want justice" and hoisting banners calling for the release of their "12 innocent" colleagues. Last Sunday,a 17-year-old Corinthians supporter took responsibility for Espada's accidental death during the 1-1 draw in Oruro.
In the wake of the incident, Bolivian police detained 12 Corinthians fans. The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) also ordered Corinthians to play their home Libertadores Cup matches behind closed doors until further notice.
It also ruled that fans of the Sao Paulo club would be barred from buying tickets for away matches. Corinthians fans have slammed Conmebol's decision as "unjustified and unfair."
The protesters later marched down Sao Paulo's main Avenida Paulista without incident.
Corinthians won the Libertadores Cup for the first time in their history last year.
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