Colombia’s government and farmers’ representatives have suspended talks that seek to put an end to an ongoing agricultural strike, the country’s agriculture minister announced Tuesday.
Colombia’s farmers and miners in late April began their first day of national strikes over the government’s alleged failure to comply with promises made after similar strikes in August 2013 that left five dead, and hundreds hospitalized or in jail.
The talks between the government and agricultural leaders to lift the protests were suspended on Tuesday after the parties could not finalize the issue of refinancing the debts of small farmers, reported W Radio.
The Agriculture Minister Ruben Darío Lizarralde said the talks with the Agrarian Dignity leaders will continue next week, after the board of the Agricultural Bank meets and defines a course of action.
Credit refinancing for the farmers is an initiative that should be adopted at a meeting of the Agricultural Bank management that meets only until next week, by which point it is expected talks will resume, reported Caracol Radio.
The pause in the talks means that there will be no further discussions on other issues such as the prices of inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, El Tiempo newspaper reported.
However, the Agriculture Minister Lizarralde said that, “we will continue working on what we negotiate and dialogue with others because [Agrarian Dignity] are not the only spokespeople of the farmers.”
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Aurelio Iragorri Valencia, said the protests so far have left 61 policemen and 66 peasants wounded .
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- “Este lunes continuamos diálogos con las dignidades agropecuarias”: MinAgricultura (Agriculture Ministry)
- Gobierno y campesinos suspenden los diálogos para levantar el paro agrario (W Radio)
- Voceros del agro se levantan de la mesa de diálogo (El Tiempo)