Army blames coca fumigation protests on FARC

Farmers, pressured by the FARC to protest aerial fumigation of coca crops, have burned three trucks and blocked traffic on the main road between Medellin and the Caribbean coast, according to a military commander.

General Leonardo Pinto Commander of the Army’s 11th Brigade said of the 2,000 rural dwellers who were displaced by leftist guerrilla group FARC to Taraza, north of Medellin, “The majority of them are being forced by the FARC’s 18th Front.”

Pinto added that the FARC is feeling the actions of the authorities because the aerial fumigation and manual eradication of coca crops is attacking their principle source of funding of the armed guerrilla group which traffics cocaine and other illegal drugs.

Between six and seven people were arrested in relation to the protests, which have been taking place over the last three days in Taraza in the department of Antioquia, in northeast Colombia.

Vice President Angelino Garzon has been in contact with the protesters in an attempt to resolve the situation, Caracol Radio reported.

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