Colombia coffee growers denied Saturday having reached a deal with the government. Instead they announced to continue their strike and the blocking of roads to demand government aid for one of Colombia’s most iconic economic sectors.
In a press release published on Facebook, the striking coffee growers said the announcement of President Juan Manuel Santos earlier in the day was a “pharce” and “has nothing to do with the people on strike.”
Tens of thousands of growers have been on strike throughout the country since Monday to demand more government support. According to the strikers and Colombia’s coffee growers federation Fedecafe, inflated coffee prices and an expensive peso is forcing the coffee producers to sell their beans below production cost.
Santos had vowed an increase in financial aid for the sector, but according to the coffee growers “the announced measure is insufficient taking the magnitude of the problem in account.”
Additionally, the coffee growers say the government “unilaterally broke off the talks with the movement’s spokespersons en let them wait in vain for a second meeting on [Friday] March 1.”
While the growers and their federation agree current government assistance for the sector is insufficient, there have been tensions between Fedecafe and its striking members over how to approach a solution to what they agree is a lack of government support.
- El Paro civico nacional cafetero coninua! (Movemiento por la Defensa y la Dignidad de los Cafeteros Colombianos)