Colombian riot police have clashed with farmers and truckers who have blocked roads across the country over the past week.
The protests have become increasingly violent and are spreading from their cradle in Boyaca province to the capital Bogota. Colombia’s Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon says the movement has been infiltrated by Marxist FARC rebels.
“They forgot about the farmers. The president told them he’s only committed to the coffee growers. He has no commitment to other farmers, to potato growers, or dairy farmers. They are massacring farmers out there in the fields, in Toca, in Siachoque, everywhere. They’ve thwarted everything so it is up to us to unite,” said one protester.
The authorities are trying to remove dozens of roadblocks that have snarled travel on Colombia’s highways and prevented produce getting to market. The government says there will be no talks until they are removed.