Members of various indigenous communities in Colombia have agreed to lift roadblocks and halt protests as of Saturday, April 6. According to officials, protesters will temporarily lift roadblocks to allow for a visit by President Ivan Duque to Cauca department, to facilitate discussions between the two sides. Demonstrators reportedly agreed to begin clearing roads in the departments of Antioquia, Arauca, Boyacá, Cauca, Huila, Nariño, Santander, Tolima, and Valle del Cauca, with traffic disruptions expected to subside along the Pan-American Highway (Highway 25) between Popayán (Cauca department) and Cali (Valle del Cauca department).
Residual disruptions are to be anticipated in areas affected by roadblocks and protests over the coming days. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are possible near any remaining demonstration sites. Further clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Multiple indigenous civil society groups started demonstrations in Cauca department on March 12 to protest land disputes. Over a dozen people have been wounded during attempts by security forces to clear roadblocks along National Route 25. Protesters also reportedly attacked humanitarian workers on March 15, prompting a local aid agency to suspend operations in Cauca department. At least one police officer has been killed during the protests.
Individuals in abovementioned departments are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all gatherings and protests due to potential violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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