Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos said Friday that his government was completing promises made in negotiations with the nation’s farmers and that there was “no reason” for them to talk about restarting the strikes that shut down large sections of the country and resulted in violent clashes over the summer.
The President’s announcement came as Colombian farmers announced their intention to leave the negotiating table with the government and consider the option to strike after reported frustrations surrounding the lack of concrete moves to address the rural economic crisis.
President Santos, pointing to the 12 point demands delineated by the farmers in negotiations, said “all the points are being completed.”
Farm leader Cesar Pachon told media that “the cup had overflowed” when the government failed to complete a potato purchase promised to farmers in negotiations.
In response, Santos said: “We have not bought [the potatoes] yet, but we are preparing to buy them through the necessary judicial procedures. This isn’t everyday going in and buying potatoes, one has to establish mechanisms.”
The President added that his ministers were ready to reach an agreement with the farmers. “The ministers are more than ready to verify that they are effectively completing their promises.”
Santos has previously called the talks of the farmers striking again “irresponsible” and “unjustifiable,” pointing to the high economic costs caused by the protests over the summer.
- Sí, se les está cumpliendo a los campesinos, afirma el Presidente Santos (President’s Ministry Release)