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  • Choco residents in 2016 held a civil strike demanding better health care, education, safety and transportation.

    Choco residents in 2016 held a civil strike demanding better health care, education, safety and transportation. | Photo: Tiwitter / @XimenaCanal

Clashes erupted between the police force, ESMAD, and the people of Choco.

Wednesday saw a general strike in the Colombian department of Choco. Political commitments made by the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, like investments in health, education and roads, have gone unfulfilled and the people have not swayed from their demands.

RELATED:
Choco, Colombia’s Poorest Region, Calls for Civil Strike

Clashes erupted between the police force, ESMAD, and the people of Choco. According to local media Semana, a member of the civil defense force was injured and had to be taken to hospital.

"The police are firing tear gas. People are throwing rocks. Everyone is running," one reporter said in a video, Semana reported.

A public transportation driver from Quibdo said, "The transportation union is committed to Choco's struggle and we'll remain faithful to the strike and our demands until the end. Since yesterday (Wednesday) the public transportation in the department has been suspended."

Meanwhile, negotiations between the leaders of the Civic Committee for the Salvation and Dignity of Choco and the Colombian government, headed by Ministry of the Interior Guillermo Rivera, are underway.

At the end of the meeting, Rivera assured that he could not divulge any information. However, he said that the government is committed to making important investments in the department.

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