There have been protests throughout Colombia since April 28th over a proposed economic plan raising taxes that would disproportionately impact poor and middle-class citizens. Protests and clashes with police are mostly in the major cities.
While most protests have been peaceful, the government has responded with a heavy hand and so far, 25 protesters have been killed.
Our producer partners in Monserrate, Timana, and Sur de Bolivar report that while things are relatively calm in rural areas, the situation is becoming more difficult for them. Producers report that they are in the middle of the harvest but are unable to bring their coffee to the mills due to blocked roads. Gas and food are also in very short supply.
A strike at the port of Buenaventura that began in late April is still going on. Main roads to the ports are partially blocked, but according to ICL, nearby shipments out of Buenaventura should still take place. If the strike in Buenaventura continues, we are told Cartagena can be an alternative. We are following up closely with our producer and exporter contacts, and we will update information as we receive news.
For the latest information on the violence and protests from Colombian coffee professionals, we recommend Sprudge's "Protests, Violence, And Calls For Support: Voices Of Colombia’s Coffee Professionals (Updating)."