Farmers’ protest turns violent in Peru

February 21st, 2008 - 5:47 pm ICT by admin  

Lima, Feb 21 (IANS) Fresh clashes broke out between the protesting farmers and the police in the southern Peruvian city of Ayacucho despite suspension of a nationwide strike by the farmers, EFE news agency reported Thursday. The farmers organised a rally Monday to push their demand for compensation of the losses caused by the free trade agreement with the US, better water supply and debt relief.

However, the protest by the JUNDR, an association of Peruvian farmers, turned violent after police killed two demonstrators Wednesday. The police also arrested ten people, Congresswoman Juana Huancahuari told the news agency.

“Some people had thrown projectiles and clashed with police. And after that, the situation became violent. Otherwise, it would have been a peaceful march,” she said.

Meanwhile, the government has started an inquiry into the incident.

On Wednesday, the JUNDR suspended the seven-day nationwide strike spearheaded by them earlier.

The group’s president, Enrique Malaga, said the farmers were returning to work, adding, that the suspension would give sufficient time to work out an agreement with the government to address the problem.

The farmers had blocked roads across Peru to demand their rights Monday, following which the stranded motorists were targeted by robbers. The police arrested around 150 demonstrators.

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