As of Friday, March 29, members of the indigenous population continue to block major highways in Cauca and Valle del Cauca departments. Community leaders vowed on Thursday, March 28, to persist with an indefinite blockade of the Pan-American highway and other local roads until President Iván Duque personally meets with the indigenous population. President Duque, meanwhile, indicated during a televised address on Thursday that he would only travel to the aforementioned departments if protesters dismantle barricades and end all associated protests.
Roadblocks have been reported between Cali (Valle del Cauca department) and Popayán (Cauca department) on Highway 25 as well as on Highways 20 and 24 in Cauca near the boundary with Huila department, which has resulted in goods and fuel shortages. Residents in Popayán have reported significant shortages and long lines at fuel stations as of March 28.
Roadblocks and protests are expected to continue in the coming days. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are possible near any 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 13 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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