Coffee growers clash with police in Colombia

Coffee growers clash with police in Colombia

POSTED: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 11:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 11:04am

For the third day in a row coffee growers and riot police clashed during a nationwide strike in Colombia. Thousands of coffee workers have been off the job since Monday, February 25. In Antioquia, hundreds of workers marched peacefully. That's how a march started in Huila as well, but later protesters blocked roads and highways. Workers want an increase in government subsidies to compensate for falling coffee prices and bad harvests.

Later in Huila riot police and protesters fought pitched battles along nearby roads and highways. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has denounced the demonstrations and has urged workers to return to work. Colombia's coffee industry, the fourth largest in the world, has suffered in recent years from a rising peso, lower prices and smaller harvests because of bad weather.

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