Colombian government and the peasants in the northern region of Catatumbo could reach today the first agreement of the negotiating table, a repair to 350 families affected by forced eradication of illicit crops. According to the local newspaper La Opinion, after nearly 11 hours of meeting on Wednesday, it became possible to reach an understanding, although the decision is in the hands of the government.
If the agreement is signed, each of the 350 families will receive $4.5 million pesos (about $2,400 USD) and the implementation of the compliance program of community gardens and food as a source of income in lieu of coca cultivation, La Opinion said.
With these steps the protesters, whose 54-day strike paralyzed the region of Norte de Santander, expect further progress in the remainder of the list of demands, including the declaration of a Peasant Reserve Zone.
Furthermore, the Catatumbo Peasant Association convened a meeting of coca leaf growers, from August 31 to September 1, in order to explain them the results achieved at the negotiating table.
In a statement released Wednesday, they warned humanitarian crisis is worsening in the region with the escalation of violent eradication of illicit crops.