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Colombia Protests Against Agriculture, Trade Policies, 2013

August 31, 2013 by  

Colombia Protests Against Agriculture, Trade Policies, 2013, Thousands of Colombian farmers and state workers marched through Bogota on Thursday, banging pots and pans as they converged on the capital after 11 days of increasingly violent protests against agricultural and trade policies they say have left them impoverished.

Students wearing balaclavas pelted shop windows with rocks near the capital’s main square and clashed with riot police who fired tear gas to disperse them.

“Long live the farmers’ strike! Food sovereignty,” they chanted, holding up protest banners.

President Juan Manuel Santos, who has been unable to end the so-called national strike that has united potato growers, milk producers, teachers and health workers, acknowledged agriculture is in crisis, but called for peaceful dissent while talks about possible solutions are going on.

“The farm sector has been abandoned,” the center-right president said in a televised address early on Thursday

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