Colombian coffee producers cause further disruption

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Yesterday the Colombian government and the coffee growers currently protesting across the country failed to reach an agreement, meaning further disruption will be caused.

Since Monday, thousands of coffee producers have created massive disruption and caused the country to come to a crippling halt. Reacting to the continuously falling international price of coffee; one of the lowest crops in decades and very little in subsidies from the government; thousands of Colombia’s coffee growers took to the streets rightfully demanding more from their government.

The protesters have blocked roads throughout the country causing inconvenience for a lot of locals and travelers.

Here in Popayan, the governor of the department of Cauca, Temistocles Ortega, has said:

“If there is a possible deal [to remove road blockades] the priority would be to allow the passage of medical vehicles. The strike would continue eventually, however, this would solve the situation of the many people who are suffering from a lack of medical supplies,” said the governor.

The roads north to Cali and south to Pasto and the border with Ecuador are currently impassable due to the blockades.

“No country or government is doing for its coffee industry and growers what we are doing today in Colombia.”

Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos has said that he will not cooperate with the coffee producers as the government already pays 60,000 pesos (£22) for every 125 Kg of coffee produced…which is really not much.

Santos has said that “No country or government is doing for its coffee industry and growers what we are doing today in Colombia.”

Those involved in the protest have however argued that the government’s contribution is simply not enough to protect against the falling international coffee prices and the losses that they are making as a result.

They argue that the cost of producing a sack of coffee is almost $100 more than they sell it for. Colombia is the fourth largest producer of coffee in the world after Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia and coffee is one of the country’s biggest exports, the falling international price could therefore have a serious effect on the economy.

The negotiations will likely continue for the next few days, hopefully resulting in a speedy resolution.

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6 responses to “Colombian coffee producers cause further disruption

  1. There are a lot of videos on Youtube showing the desperate plight of the coffee growers and the brutality of ESMAD. But on a practical note, what is travel like in the region now? Is it possible to get buses/taxis to a road block, walk through it and get a bus/taxi even if at some distance further on the other side, or is travel impossible? There have been videos of Peruvians and Ecuadorians stuck at bus terminals for days. What is your experience?

    • Hey sorry for the delayed reply, I was traveling back to the uk over the last few days. I had to fly from Popayan to cali to catch my flight, which wasn’t ideal. I’m sure you have heard the strike is over now. Hope you got through okay 🙂

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