Colombia is in the midst of a farmer-led nationwide strike against privatization, trade deals, and alleged neglect of rural areas. Tens of thousands of people have blocked roads and staged protests over the past week, leading to violent clashes with police. Critics say the government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has backed multinational corporations at the expense of Colombia’s people. One farmer said locals have been unable to compete with subsidized U.S. and European crops imported under so-called “free trade” deals.
Andres Orjuela: “We came to support the protests of our friends from Boyaca and from every part of the country being affected by the famous free trade agreements that sadly are crushing the Colombian farmer. Here we are not able to compete.”
The current demonstrations in Colombia mark the second wave of a national strike against the president that began earlier this year.