Four people have been reportedly injured during the first day of the nationwide Colombian agrarian protests on Monday, local media reported.
The coordinated protests by farmers and small-scale miners seeking to highlight numerous promises they say the government has failed to deliver resulted on Monday with four injuries and a number roadblocks reportedly cutting off southern and eastern states of the country.
Injuries and Clashes
Two policemen and two other people were reportedly injured in different parts of the country during Monday’s protests, Pulzo news reported.
One policeman was reportedly injured during clashes with students supporting the agrarian strikes at the Pedagogica University in the capital Bogota.
Another injury was confirmed by the Director of the National Police, General Rodolfo Palomino, through twitter in a post which stated that “We guarantee peaceful protests but we cannot tolerate that a police officer has been injured by a firearm by demonstrators in Suaza (Huila),” referring to the state of Huila in the country’s south.
Palomino later added through the same medium that farmers demonstrating had not been involved in the incident.
Garantizamos protesta pacífica pero no podemos tolerar que un policía haya sido herido con arma de fuego por manifestantes en Suaza (Huila).
— General Palomino (@GeneralPalomino) April 29, 2014
Two other people were injured during mondays protests, one reportedly hit by a rubber bullet fired by a police officer, and a motorcycle driver who collided with logs that had been placed across a road in the state of Boyaca by demonstrators, Pulzo news reported.
Students from the National University supporting the strikes reportedly burnt tires in front of the campus causing traffic blocks, RCN Radio said.
Ongoing traffic issues
According to La Nacion newspaper, although some roadblocks have been lifted in the state of Huila without violent incidents, public transport services from town such as Patolito to the capital Neiva remain restricted by companies for fears of further issues on the roads.
Similarly in the town of La Calera near the Colombian Capital, Bogota, bus drivers are refusing to service routes between municipalities due to security fears, El Tiempo newspaper reported.
The Minister of Agriculture, Ruben Dario Lizarralde, and agrarian leaders are due to meet today in a bid to stop the nationwide strike and avoid further escalations, such as those seen last fall in during similar demonstrations that turned violent.
- Tres heridos dejó primera jornada de paro agrario; partes volverán a reunirse este martes (Pulzo)
- Gobierno y campesinos inician reunión en nuevo intento por conjurar protesta (RCN Radio)
- Gobierno y campesinos se reúnen hoy para intentar levantar paro agrario (Caracol Radio)
- Vias libres en el sur del Huila (La Nacion)
- Sin transporte intermunicipal permanece La Calera (El Tiempo)
- Paro agrario inicio con relativa normalidad en todo el pais (El Pais)
- General Palomino (@GeneralPalomino Twitter)