Created: 8/7/1996

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Kradicalion Protests Spreading

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Peasant demonMnilions. which began in mid-July in (iuavidre Department, continue to interfere with Bogota's drug crop eradication program. Protests have spread to Putumayo and Caqueta Dcpjrtmcnts. and dashes with security forces have caused three deaths thus

tWrmyTnTlaTcTnTTO coca cultivation or processing.

Guerrillas, who iilso profit from the illicit crop industry, probably are fanning Ihe demonstrations. Over ihe weekend, rebels blewtretch of oil pipeline in Putumayo. and press reports say peasant leaders arc threatening to take over oil installations to force governtvni concessions- WMM

The government on Mondayelegation to talk with (he peasants, but officials have ruled oui legalization olcoca and opium popp)

Prcsidcni Samper has vowed to continue cradkation-Srcrreruuorounlcmarcolicshas asked farmers to abandon illicit cultivation.

sl week announced the creationund to provide credit to debt-ridden farmers, batnlikely lo give protesting coca growers enough incentive to switch to legal crops. In the past. Bogotailrd lo follow through on commitments to provide


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