Farmers’ protests snarl traffic, lead to clashes in Peru
VILLACURI, Peru (AP) — Farmers demanding better pay have blocked a major highway in Peru for days, prompting truckers and motorists caught in nearly 10 miles (15 kilometers) of backed up traffic to pelt them with rocks on Thursday.
Truckers complained that cargos were about to spoil and motorists complained of lack of food and water. But police declined to intervene at the blockade about 300 kilometers (180 miles) by road south of the Peruvian capital. Other protoests broke out north of Lima, with farm workers clashing with the police who used tear gas.
The farm workers in the grape-producing region complain they are paid about $10 for a 12- to 14-hour workday. They are protesting clauses in a law that exempts them from benefits given other workers, including annual bonuses and vacations.