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  • Coca producers demanding the proper implementation of the peace accords in Bogota on Oct. 6, 2017.

    Coca producers demanding the proper implementation of the peace accords in Bogota on Oct. 6, 2017. | Photo: EFE

Dozens of groups are planning to start the action next Monday over the Havana agreement.

Social organizations and farmers in Colombia have called for an indefinite strike, demanding the government implements fully the peace accords signed with the FARC last November.

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The decision, approved by 12 local representatives of Colombia's provinces, follows a meeting with state officials on Thursday.

The action is due to start next week. Those taking part include the Patriotic March, the National Coordinator of Coca, Poppy and Marijuana Growers, the National Coordination of Communities and Afrodescendant Organizations and the National Coordination of Indigenous Peoples among others.

"This national strike is to demand compliance with the agreement. We hope that the Government respects our right to protest, "said the spokesman of the National Association of Peasant Reserve Zones, Cesar Jerez, in a statement issued by Patriotic March.

 

The groups also decided to drafted a list of petitions to file to the Colombian Presidency, to reactivate the negotiations and address the unfulfilled commitments by the authorities.

Their demands include discussions regarding the failure to comply with collective agreements for the substitution of illicit crops, stagnation of the National Program for Integral Replacement of Crops for Illicit Use and the obstruction of several bills to implement the measures agreed at peace talks in Havana last year.

The national spokesperson for the Patriotic March, David Florez, said "to break the agreement is to defy the communities....We will fill the streets demanding our right to peace."

Florez added that the current rate of the peace agreement's implementation "is calamitous."

Meanwhile, the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has announced the settng up of a taskforce in the municipality of Narino.

Seven people were killed at a demonstration against the eradication of their coca crops in the region's town of Tumaco on October 5. 

Local rights groups say they were killed by the police but the authorities say dissident FARC fighters were to blame.

Paramilitary groups have been moving in as the former rebels move out and transition into civilian life creating a power vaccuum. The paramiltaries are said to be taking over in the area due to the high level of coca cultivation and are forcing many residents to leave their homes.

The new 6,500 strong taskforce will set out to control the area as well as carry out "systematic operations against criminal structures and integral action with the communities for rural development".

President Santos also announced that he would be visiting Tumaco on Saturday to reinforce the actions taken to recover the territory from criminal gangs and drug trafficking mafias.


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