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Colombians Increasingly Joining Strike

Prensa Latina | August 24, 2013

Bogota – More and more sectors continue joining the nationwide strike in Colombia, expressing their unhappiness with government economic policies, amid strong tension in the wake of police repression, detentions and blockage in 33 roads in several departments.

The situation is worsening, with no solution in sight. The Executive has reiterated it is ready to talk, but not before the strike is ended and blocking of roads lifted.

President Juan Manuel Santos said yesterday that 30 persons have been brought to justice for blocking roads, “some of them charged with committing terrorism, facing over 20 year prison sentence.”

The day before the protests started, Santos had ordered police to act firmly against those blocking the roads.

Leaders of the protests have urged police to stop using force excessively and abusing power.

The first six days of protest left over 175 detainees and heavy damage worth some $25 million USD.

But protesters are determined to remain in the roads until their demands are heard by the government, whose policies against the workers and people in general limit their rights, privatize institutions and hand over the country’s resources to transnationals.

Boyaca remains the worst-hit department, with over 16 roads totally blocked.

Footage of police repression has been posted on the Internet.

The strike has also been strong in Bogota, and today more than 1,000 storekeepers of main wholesale chain Corabastos are expected to march toward Bolivar Square to support the protests, with people demanding to stop immediately the Free Trade Agreements that are hitting the people, mainly in rural areas.

“No More FTA, No More Riot Squadron (ESMAD), No More Privatized Seeds, No More Mega-Mining, No More Corruption,” ex Senator Piedad Cordoba wrote in a message on Twitter, where Colombians are massively backing the protests.

August 24, 2013 - Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , ,

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