Colombia’s national government has successfully completed negotiations to bring to an end a six-week miners’ strike and a two-week strike organized by indigenous people in the southwest of the country.
The miners’ strike is one of the longest among several economic sectors that stopped working in protest of the government’s economic policies over the past few weeks.
President Juan Manuel Santos and the strike organizers announced they had reached an agreement on the formalization of artisan, and small and medium-sized mining companies, one of the demands of the national miners’ union.
Santos praised the deal and said the government will provide the necessary help for miners to formalize their enterprises while preventing illegal armed group like the FARC and Urabeños, who have turned to mining to finance their organizations, from “getting away with it.”
The miners confirmed the deal on their Facebook page, but stressed that the agreement wasn’t signed yet and that the strike wouldn’t be lifted until the government’s signature sealed the deal.
A day after closing a deal with the miners, Santos traveled to the southwestern Nariño department on Sunday to sign an accord that was reached with the indigenous population of Los Pastos and Quillacinga, who had joined the growing strikes two weeks ago.
Following the deal, indigenous groups reportedly began clearing controversial roadblocks that had been put up.
The Nariño strikes were among the fiercest in Colombia, which saw the majority of its departments affected by the mainly agrarian work stoppage.
The strikes shut down the economy in large parts of the country. A demonstration in Colombia’s largest cities turned extremely violent on Thursday, in the wake of which Santos militarized the capital Bogota and temporarily suspended talks with the strikers.
- Tras firma de acuerdo levantan paro campesino (EFE)
- Presidente Santos celebra el levantamiento del paro minero (President’s Office)
- Paro Nacional Minero (Facebook)