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National Agrarian Strike Begins in Colombia

In July, the agricultural sector led by the MIA (National Agricultural and Popular Bureau of Exchange and Agreement) called for [es] a national agrarian strike to start this Monday, August 19, in Colombia.

On August 8, this organization presented [es] a list of demands [es] before the Ministry of Agriculture directed at the Government to prevent a national strike, but it appears as though they did not come to any sort of agreement, despite some Congress members having pointed out [es] their willingness to open up a dialogue.

Colombia Soberana reposted [es] the list of demands on their blog. Of the six key points in it are the following:

1. Exigimos la implementación de medidas y acciones frente a la crisis de la producción agropecuaria.
2. Exigimos acceso a la propiedad de la tierra.

1. We demand the implementation of measures and actions against the crisis of agricultural production.

2. We demand access to land ownership.

The strike has generated sympathy [es] in various sectors that are against the liberal government model, and also involves [es] other organizations which, even though they do not subscribe to all of the points on the list of demands, they do support some of them, such as the sector of coffee growers [es], brown sugar farmers [es], or the CNA [es] (National Agrarian Coordinator).

On YouTube, user Marcha Patriótica has uploaded the following video creating a graphic of the 6 points mentioned:

On Sunday, August 18, the hashtag #YoParoPor (“I strike for”) was on the list of Trending Topics on Twitter for several hours. With it, netizens have given various motives for supporting the strike. For example, Congress member Iván Cepeda tweeted:

Colombia can't move forward if 1% of the owners continue to own between 50% and 60% of the land.

Meanwhile, lawyer Carolina Rodríguez commented:

I strike for the farmers to grow crops with the seeds that fed our grandparents and not the garbage that Monsanto wants to give us

— Carolina Rodríguez R (@CaroZ19) August 19, 2013

Imagen obtenida de la cuenta Twitter @marchapatriota.

Translation: “August 19 National Agriculture and Popular Strike” Image from @marchapatriota‘s Twitter account.

On his behalf, President Juan Manuel Santos has authorized [es] the police to act “with full force” against those who close the streets during the strike.

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