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.)

Stranded travellers camp out at Popayán bus terminal.

Stranded travellers camp out at Popayán bus terminal.

* 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.

IMGP2908* Coffee workers now said to have some 20 blockades.
* Classes are cancelled at schools and many universities as blockades and lack of gasoline makes transportation almost impossible.

* A peaceful protest in town square.
* Interior Minister Fernando Carrillo flies in to assess the emergency. Avoids contact with reporters.

See also: http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201302272224-0022573


About Connecting Colombias

Recently retired newspaper reporter with one foot in British Columbia, Canada, the other in Colombia, South America. Fascinated with Colombian culture, Canadian connections, and heroic efforts to return millions of displaced Colombians to lands stolen by paramilitaries, guerrillas and organized crime.

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