Highways blocked all over Peru in farmer’s riot/protest/strike

(LIP-ir) — Hundreds of inter-provincial buses were stranded in different parts of the country when farmers and representatives of Peru’s agricultural industry blocked several parts of the Panamericana Norte Highway from Huacho – approximately 80 miles north of Lima – to Piura, about 652 miles north of the country’s capital city.

Protesters have been threatening to strike for some time and began blocking roads at midnight.

Motorists and bus passengers called RPP Noticias early this morning reporting that the Panamericana Norte Highway was blocked in Chancay, Huacho, Huarmey, Trujillo and Piura.

Luis Trujillano, a reporter for RPP Noticias in Chimbote told listeners that approximately 300 buses were waiting for the country’s national police to remove debris from the main highway so traffic could return to normal.

National highway police chief, Eduardo Arteta reported that police were making a tremendous effort to get protesters off the highway and clear it of rocks and debris.

Although several parts of the highway have not been cleared, he reported that traffic was back to normal in the regions of Trujillo, Piura and Arequipa.

Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo has assured that there is no reason for the strike, stating that an agreement was signed on Friday between CONVEAGRO (Union of farmers and agricultural producers) and the government.

It was reported that the agreement met 13 of the demands agricultural unions were making.

When asked why the union was supporting the strike, president of CONVEAGRO, Luis Zúñiga said, "Because there are other unions taking part in the strike and we can’t abandon them, we will only participate in Monday’s strike."