Farmers Declare National Strike

By bogotapost April 25, 2014
Photos: James Young

Photos: James Young

Action announced amid accusations that the Government have not enforced previous deal

A NATIONAL farmers’ strike is to take place on Monday April 28, with various  groups announcing their intention to participate.

“We are going to have groups of vehicles, city protests and roadblocks”, stated one farmers’ group spokesman. He said that the National Government has not fulfilled their end of the agreement which was made in order to end the strike which took place during August and September of last year.

“The supplies remain expensive, they haven’t lowered taxes, nor has there been any solution with the bank,” added another spokesman.

The sugar industry announced that they will be present at the protest too. “The government is dedicated to importing subsidized sugar from other countries, and this has had a negative effect on the industry”, stated a union representative.

The groups have said that another motive for the protests is that “nothing is being done to revive cereals, or to control the price of fertilizers and other supplies.

They [the Government] have done nothing to control smuggling, and they unjustifiably import goods produced in excess in Colombia such as sugar, ethanol and onions.”

Last year’s protests brought Bogotá to a standstill, ending in violent clashes between protesters and police in the city centre.

In addition, roadblocks enforced by farmers caused shortages of basic goods in Bogotá and Medellín as well as in other regional capitals such as Cúcuta, Popayán, Tunja, Florence, Bucaramanga and Pereira.

Some sources have said that the strike could affect the general election which will be held on May 25.

By Steven Grattan