Issued on: 31/12/2020 -
Hundreds of agricultural workers in Peru maintained a road block in the north of the country on Thursday in protest at the death of three people in clashes with police.
The workers are demanding an increase in wages.
Authorities said three people, including one minor, were killed in clashes with police on Wednesday.
One of the victims died while being transferred to hospital after being held up by the road block.
The clashes left 28 protesters and 15 police injured while 45 agricultural workers were arrested.
Protesters are blocking a part of the Panamericana road some 500 kilometers to the north of the capital Lima, where they had already been on strike since earlier in the month.
Television images showed police using tear gas and birdshot against demonstrators.
The workers are angry about a bill passed by Congress on Tuesday.
They had been demanding that agricultural-export companies increase their daily wage from $11 to $18 but the bill only proposed an increase to 48 soles, around $13.
In a bid to calm tensions, President Francisco Sagasti vowed to "sanction the police that didn't respect the ban on using firearms" on protesters.
Sagasti also proposed a dialogue to find a solution to the problem after acknowledging that the bill passed by Congress "didn't satisfy any of the parties."
Farm workers successfully forced the repeal of an agrarian law dating back to 2000 that they considered prejudicial through a campaign of road blocks earlier in December, when two young men were killed as police tried to clear demonstrators.
© 2020 AFP