FARC guerrillas announced that they are lifting an armed blockade in Huila, south-west Colombia, after nearly 3,000 inhabitants from the town of Algeciras took to the streets to demand their right to work.
The FARC’s transport blockade, imposed in response to the election of Juan Manuel Santos, has lasted eleven days and cost the town over $15 million in spoiled agricultural products, according to estimates from the Department of Land and Environment.
Despite a strong military presence deployed in the area to control the blockade, many people were frightened to leave their homes for fear of reprisals. On Tuesday the group set fire to a vehicle attempting to leave the municipality.
However, people eventually took to the streets with white flags, shouting the message, “We want to work, this is not a demonstration against or in favor of anyone.” Residents say they had no political allegiance towards the government or the guerrilla group, they simply wanted the conflict to be resolved so that they could get back to work.