Rice growers to strike Thursday, block roads to Colombia’s capital

Posted on Apr 9 2014 - 11:13am by Rico
(Photo: Banca y Negocias)

Rice growers announced that they will go on indefinite national strike Thursday, aiming to block highways around the capital, Bogota, local media reported on Wednesday morning.

Despite the last minute meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Ruben Dario Lizzarde, the rice growers said they are still unhappy with the government’s attitude towards the problems they are facing and that the government has failed to comply with the agreements made last year.

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The national strike, announced for Thursday and highways connecting Bogota and the surrounding states of Tolima, Casanare, Huila and Meta are expected to be shut down.

“A sector of the national cereal producers will go on strike starting this Thursday since in spite last year’s protests the problems such as prices, contraband, lack of credit and harvest productivity still linger on.”

“A sector of the national cereal producers will go on strike starting this Thursday since in spite last year’s protests the problems such as prices, contraband, lack of credit and harvest productivity still linger on,” Dignity for Rice Farmers movement representative, Roberto Botero told Caracol Radio.

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Agrarian discontent in August last year led to major national strikes last year that resulted in violence and disruption across Colombia. Five people were killed in clashes with the police, 458 people were injured and highways and roads were closed down around the country.

The government secured an end to the strikes by negotiating with the farming groups, but now farmers feel the government failed in keeping their promise.

MORE: Farmers return to Bogota streets, demand govt negotiate before 2014 elections

Sources:

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