Bolivian deputy interior minister Rodolfo Illanes has been beaten to death by striking mineworkers after being kidnapped, local media reported on Thursday.
The government had earlier said that the 56-year-old Illanes had been kidnapped and was at risk of being tortured in Panduro, around 160 km (100 miles) from capital La Paz.
Protests by miners in Bolivia demanding changes to laws led to a highway being blockaded this week. Miners said police had fired on them and killed two workers.
“We have been able to see close up that vice-minister Illanes was dead. Colleagues told us that he had died of a beating,” the director of a mining radio station Moises Flores told local radio.
The death has not been confirmed officially.