The UN on Monday called for negotiations between Colombia’s government and coffee workers who are protesting for greater subsidies in the struggling industry.
“There is no other way out. In all circumstances the solution is a dialogue that will arrrive at an understanding,” said Bruno Moro, the United Nations resident coordinator in Colombia. “An understanding where each party has to give a little and each party has to recieve a little,” he added.
Thousands of Colombian coffee growers went on strike Monday demanding that the government provide greater financial support for the struggling industry.
While the exact number of protestors has not yet been determined, initial reports indicate that upwards of 30,000 people have taken to the streets in the departments of Antioquia, Huila, Risaralda, Quindio, and Tolima.
The demonstrations have been peaceful for the most part, though there have been reports of clashes between protestors and police that left approximately 21 people with non-life threatening injuries.
Strike organizers say current subsidies are not enough to prevent small growers from losing money per bag of produced coffee.
“[Farmers] are paid $282 for a sack of coffee but the cost of producing it is $366,” he said. “These are small farmers. They are poor. The culture of coffee growing is important to Colombia but we cannot continue like this…We are facing an economic crisis, a social crisis, an institutional crisis and a crisis of production,” strike organizer Victor Correa told Colombia Reports in January
- ONU pide al Govierno y a los cafeteros negociar el fin del paro (Caracol Radio)
- ONU llama al dialogo entre Gobierno y cafeteros (El Espectador)