The Americas

Colombia seeks end to farmers' strike after 2 deaths

Members of Colombia's government are meeting with indigenous leaders to try and negotiate an end to a nationwide strike by farmers now in its fifth day.

The meeting in the southwestern province of Cauca on Friday comes a day after two protesters were killed and dozens more injured in clashes with police.

Farmers in 20 of Colombia's 32 provinces are demanding the government honor rural spending commitments dating from a much longer and deadlier strike in 2013.

Government officials accuse the National Liberation Army, the country's second-largest rebel group, of infiltrating the protests and sparking violence.

But the farmers, many of them hailing from long-neglected indigenous communities, are pledging to remain on the streets and block major highways until their demands are met.