El Alto (ĕl älˈtō) [key], city (2001 pop. 649,958), La Paz dept., W Bolivia. A burgeoning suburb of La Paz, El Alto is on a plateau overlooking the capital from the west. Although predominantly poor and residential, the city has some light industries; La Paz's international airport is there. The largely Aymara inhabitants of El Alto were in the forefront of sometimes violent protests against privatization and other government market-oriented plans during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
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