Spokesmen of of a week-long uprising of tens of thousands of small farmers and minorities in Colombia’s countryside called for international protection after three protesters were killed, more than 200 injured and 100 were arrested.
According to the Cumbre Agraria, a social organization negotiating improved conditions in the countryside with the government, called in the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights to send observers.
The protest leaders say that clashes between riot police and protests that were meant to be peaceful left already three protesters dead, another 202 injured and more than 100 people in jail.
The organization asked the IACHR for protection status in an attempt to curb police violence.
The protests have been taking place throughout Colombia since Monday last week and have been swelling as the government and protesters fail to come to an agreement on improving conditions in remote areas.
A recent government report said that so far this year more than 100 children, mostly indigenous, died of malnutrition so far this year.
During a similar uprising in 2013, more than a dozen protesters were killed while hundreds were injured or jailed.
To end the uprising, the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos promised economic incentives for the impoverished countryside, but the protesters have said that three years later the government only fulfilled 10% of its promises.
However, following the strike the government also changed the law, prohibiting the obstruction of public traffic, one of the most powerful means of the protesters to demand attention on their remote regions.
Truckers announced on Tuesday that they would also join the strike, increasing the chance of the obstruction of public traffic and violent police response from the feared ESMAD riot police.
The government on Tuesday reiterated its warning it would not allow any road blocks.
Meanwhile, government and rural negotiators progress slowly in talks and have so far only been able to come to a preliminary agreement in regards to trust building.