- Posted March 2, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Noticias de última hora
Colombian Coffee Revolution
I am have been traveling through Central and part of South America for several months. I am currently in Popayan Colombia unable to head South or North due to protests blocking the roads. Having talked directly with some of the coffee farmers protesting the original protest was scheduled for 3 days. The protest is now in its 6th day and tensions are rising.
The coffee farmers are demanding more government aid and the president has stated there in no more to give. The coffee farmers are going broke because of the falling price of coffee. It costs more to produce a bag than they can sell it. This is their last attempt to save their livelihood. There are reports of hundreds of roadblocks between Popayan and Cali as well as many others across Colmbia particularly in the southern region. I have personally witnessed tire fires in the road and several felled trees across the road with many men carrying sticks securing the roadblocks.
Now other groups are threatening to join the protests to try and leverage their causes. A leader of one the groups was quoted as saying if we are going to stick our hand in then why not the entire arm?" He is reprted to be from a fairly extreme left wing group. I am not sure of his cause yet.
Currently the military is flying a Hurc cargo plane into and out of Popayan for emergency assistance and speculation is to place troops today. The news reports are now saying this protest could last more than 15 days. The harsh reality is no one really knows and the direction this is headed it seems more and more likely to end with violence.
I am currently stuck in Popayan and have already missed one flight back to the US. Popayan is currently safe and I do not anticipate the violence spilling into the town as the roadblocks are several miles to the north and south in the small pueblos of Timbio and Piendamo. Popayan is now out of gasoline and the reserve for taxis will be gone Monday. Truckers have been sleeping on the side of the road in their trucks for 5 nights now.
This really isn't meant to be an actual story but to inform a news outlet of the events that are taking place and increasing in tension. I have looked several times online and can only find one current article on this that is now several days old. I am very surprised that this has not made world news and is not being covered daily.
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