The FARC set fire to a car in the Huila department’s Algeciras municipality, where they have shut down all transportation services, in spite of a 24 hour treaty permitting transport workers, who have been detained there for a week, to exit the area.
“Thank God that on Monday they let some vehicles go that were carrying food, but what I don’t understand is why they burned the car if they had given permission [for it to leave]. If one doesn’t do what they want, they make them leave the village, it’s complicated there, there one is afraid of one thing and another,” a truck driver, who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons, told El Tiempo.
Transport workers had planned a peaceful protest against the FARC’s enforced strike, but cancelled it after the vehicle was set on fire. The army, police and the Huila government are meeting to discuss how to proceed with the strike, which has now been going on for a week.
The FARC have said the enforced strike will be indefinite and threatened to set fire to any more vehicles that attempt to leave the municipality.
The army and the police are patrolling the highways in the area, while two armed helicopters patrol aerially. However, Algeciras Ombudsman Marly Yaneth Losada Romero said locals are to scared to leave their homes for fear of reprisals.
The department of Huila has been one of the areas of Colombia hardest hit by FARC guerrillas.