Colombia’s Interior and Justice Minister Germain Vargas Lleras said that the situation in the mining town of Puerto Gaitan is under control after more than a month of labor protests and riots, according to a report from Caracol Radio.
Local media reported Wednesday that Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales agreed on a renewed labor deal with workers, ending a strike that mobilized 10,000 protesters.
Riots destroyed vehicles, facilities, and injured both civilians and police officers during the last week of protests.
“The protests are legitimate; what is not legitimate is the exercise of violence… to paralyze the national roads, as the new public safety law penalizes those who block traffic on national highways,” said Vargas Lleras.
Vargas Lleras added that the governor of the Meta department will meet with government officials and representatives of the Colombia’s Trade Union (CUT) today to find ways to improve working conditions for Pacific Rubiales laborers.
According to Caracol Radio, the state will also asses the working conditions of employees of Pacific Rubiales.
The Meta department’s secretary of government said that at least seven officials will participate in a meeting on August 3 near Puerto Gaitan to assess the region’s labor policy.
“There is peace in all municipalities in the department of Meta, this forum intends to build public policy in the department, which will be a very important opportunity,” said Meta Secretary of Government Jairo Hernan Benjumea.