Peru’s Ministry of Agriculture open to dialog with protesting farmers

Ismael Benavides, Peru’s Minister of Agriculture
© RPP Noticias

(LIP-ir) — Peru’s Minister of Agriculture announced that he was willing to negotiate with farmers and workers unions that began a strike and protest early yesterday morning, affecting the entire country from the region of Arequipa to the region of Piura.

Minister Ismael Benavides reported that unions such as JNUDRP were not respecting agreements recently established between the government and workers unions.

Agreements were signed between unions, such as CONVEAGRO, and the government on Friday.

Despite having over a dozen demands met, the president of CONVEAGRO, Luis Zúñiga, explained that the union was taking part in the strike to support fellow workers.

"The Ministry of Agriculture is open to discussing issues and we are implementing some of the agreements established last week", said the minister in a radio interview.

Benavides assured that unions did not want to negotiate, stating that leaders from JNUDRP did not show up at scheduled meetings where government officials were present.

Thousands of passengers were affected yesterday by protests that took place from the south of the country in Arequipa to the north of Peru in Piura.

One of the worst affected highways was the Panamericana Norte Highway, which was closed off for several hours – delaying hundreds of inter-provincial buses.

Peru’s government declared a state of emergency for the next week in eight of the countries regions.

Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo stated the country’s Armed Forces would be responsible for controlling the situation and explained that protesters caught in violent acts would be severely punished.

It was reported on Tuesday morning that over one hundred people had been detained.