Rural Protests Add a New Wrinkle to Colombia’s Post-Conflict Challenges

Rural Protests Add a New Wrinkle to Colombia’s Post-Conflict Challenges
Peasants work in a potato field, Villapinzon, Colombia, Aug. 23, 2013 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Two weeks of strikes, protests and roadblocks ended in rural Colombia two weeks ago after peasant farmers and indigenous groups reached an agreement with the Colombian government to include them in future rulings on mining and other issues in the country’s rural areas. More than 30,000 members of indigenous and peasant groups across the countryside initially joined the agrarian strike on May 30, which affected 24 of Colombia’s 32 departments, or regions. Three protesters were killed in clashes with riot police, and some 100 people were injured.

“The government was responsible for the signing of agreements, which are viable and will have to be met,” Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo said in announcing the accord ending the protests on June 12. The deal was confirmed by strike leader Marleny Serna of the Peasant, Ethnic and Social Agrarian Summit, or Cumbre Agraria, following their meeting in the municipality of Santander de Quilichao, in the department of Cauca in southwestern Colombia.

The interior minister added that the “work which will have to be completed with indigenous and peasant communities will enable us to guarantee a stable and lasting peace, putting a stop to inequality.” Cristo acknowledged that the agreements were just the start of a lengthy process to ensure that no further revolts would erupt in Colombia, which announced a permanent cease-fire with FARC rebels yesterday, and is set to sign a final peace deal soon with the group after more than five decades of hostility.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review