Protesters keep up the pressure and cause shutdowns due to the general strike

Demonstrations in Medelln, this Wednesday.Luis Eduardo NoriegaEFE

They closed public transport in Cali and they deployed a legion of officials, dressed in blue helmets, to mediate possible clashes between security forces and protesters. They also closed public transport, which has been vandalized, and locked up the ESMAD (riot police), the body that the National Strike Committee demands to dismantle. They will only act in extreme cases. Everything so that the demonstrations, called for this Wednesday, take place normally in the city that has become the epicenter of violence that has clouded the protests.

It will not be possible to count the follow-up to the general strike, because without buses, with blockades in some parts of the city and with the risk of being in the middle of the altercations, most companies and shops preferred not to open their doors. But the response of the citizens, in mobilizations that last for twenty-two days, with the consequent economic damages, was massive.

“Critical citizen expression and pressure must be maintained without blocking or paralyzing the country,” Anglica Lozano, senator of the social-democratic Green Party, told EL MUNDO. “The false attitude of dialogue of President Ivn Duque, his reluctance to recognize abuses of the public force, are dynamiting the relationship of the institutions with the citizen for the long term. The Unemployment Committee only represents a piece of the strike, it does not collect the massive voice of young people who are on the streets and have no option to study or work. “

He also blames the Head of State for “little leadership to get out of the crisis, in full aggressive third peak of the pandemic, when the agglomerations make the virus dynamic and the ICUs are at their peak. “

Road blocks

On the day, in which there were few disturbances of public order until the closing of this edition, one of the exceptions was Buenaventura, 80 kilometers from Cali. There were clashes with the police and looting. The department of Valle del Cauca, with half a million inhabitants, mostly poor, is home to the only port on the Pacific Ocean. Since April 28 it has been closed, with significant detriment to the economy, and now they have allowed to open some humanitarian corridors to transport commodities.

Precisely the roadblocks have been a point of contention. The President intends to lift them by force, if necessary, a method that the unions repudiate.

In other regions, such as Caquet or Norte de Santander, farmers coca growers who reject the eradication of their crops. Some joined voluntarily, but others, as this newspaper has known, do so under the obligation of the guerrillas. They intend to avoid the destruction of their crops with aerial spraying of glyphosate, a measure that raises blisters in political sectors of opinion.

And if it was already complex for Duque to begin eradication, it will be almost impossible in the coming weeks given the climate of maximum tension and the political weakness of the government, which sees how its initiatives do not find the support of its allies at this time.

In any case, the demands of the claimants are so many and diverse, some with little social representation, that it is not easy for the government to make concessions and appease the anger so that people return to their homes.

For tomorrow Thursday, at 7 in the morning (14 hours in the peninsula), they have scheduled the fourth meeting between the Strike Committee and the government delegates, with Miguel Ceballos, High Commissioner for Peace, at the head.

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