Beginning on August 19th, small farmers, miners & indigenous people from all over Colombia took to the streets, town squares, & highways to demand that current crisis of dispossession of lands & territories, the lack of quality health care & education, agrarian policies & trade agreements continue to impoverish the Colombian people, & an infrastructure that favors foreign companies over local residents be addressed.
They were soon joined by coffee growers, fisherfolk, students, teachers, academics, health care workers, truckers, and labor unions, among others, & have organized in several major areas of the country. It is estimated that there are over 200,000 people currently camped out away from their homes & participating in the strikes.
The response to the strikes by public forces, particularly ESMAD - the riot police—have been excessive, to the extent that the Director of Nat'l Police, General Rodolfo Palomino, has promised an internal inquiry.
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