The first day of the “marcha patriotica” – anti government protests, in which hundreds of thousands took to the streets, are resulting in substantial traffic delays on the road. Aviation authorities said the situation on the country’s airports is normal.
Transit police reported that approximately 1.365,000 vehicles were forced to use a different route to return home from their long weekend as Monday was a bank holiday in Colombia.
According to Radio Santa Fe, the biggest delays were in the departments of Boyaca, Arauca, Putumayo and Nariúo where protesters succeeded in entirely shutting down the main roads.
In the capitals of these departments (provinces), travel companies refused to send buses to Bogota and vice versa, due to the road blockages caused by the anti-government demonstrations.
The route from the capital Bogota to Melgar, the capital of the southern Tolima department, and to Tunja, the capital of Boyaca, were the most affected by delays, as there was no restriction on traveling vehicles.
According to Radio Santa Fe, Monday night saw clashes between protesters and police on the route between Tunja and Bogota.
At the height of clashes, vehicles in Villapinzon, located in between Tunja and Bogota, did not move for ten hours as police had to remove trees that protesters had cut down and spread across the road.
Furthermore, significant blockades occurred in southwest Colombia, as the Pan American Highway, a 30,000 mile road that connects Colombia with the rest of South America, was blocked in two locations.
While the situation on the road may be complicated, air travel seems unaffected by the strikes, marches and roadblocks.
“Everything is perfectly normal,” a spokesman of aviation authority Aercivil told Colombia Reports Tuesday morning, stressing that no flights were canceled due to the strikes and waiting periods are the same as on any other day.
The situation on the road is likely to worsen throughout Tuesday as sectors who hadn’t joined the strike yet on Monday are expected to join protests.
Article by Colombia Reports