Popayán blockade tightened: Food, medicine, oxygen disappearing
It’s obvious the only people with gasoline to spare in this part of Colombia are the military. Military helicopters are buzzing this colonial, Andean city like mad hornets while Colombians buy pop bottles full of fuel on the black market.
Striking coffee workers tightened the noose around Popayán Monday as the blockade entered it´s second week. Blockade moved closer to the city.
Other developments included:
* Supplies of oxygen and medicine running low at hospitals despite a military air delivery of both. The mayor says both oxygen and medicine supplies will last only another day. (One pregnant woman died in the first week because of a lack of platelets.)
* Some restaurants close because of a lack of food.
* Stranded travellers camp out at bus terminal.
* Cost of food climbs rapidly.
* Long lineups at supermarkets, as consumers compete to clean remaining food off shelves.
* Tens of thousands of chickens die of starvation and thousands of litres of milk dumped because of transportation problems while shortages of chicken, eggs, fruit and milk heighten concerns.
* The military takes over airport security. Perimeter gates locked, only those approved by military allowed entry.
* A peaceful protest in town square.
* Interior Minister Fernando Carrillo flies in to assess the emergency. Avoids contact with reporters.