At least two people have been killed in ongoing protests sparked by the installation of three toll booths in the Colombian region of Uraba, a department of Antioquia, which critics say are penalizing local residents and transporters.
Merchants, transporters and members of the Citizens' Initiative Committee took to the streets to demonstrate, resulting in damage to several establishments, including two tolls located at Riogrande and Cyril.
The municipalities of Chigorodo, Turbo, Carepa and Apartado are being blocked in protest against a decision by the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) to locate the booths in the Transversal de las Americas, between Chigorodo and Turbo.
The ANI has announced its decision to suspend toll collections and has called for an end to the protests, according to local news Noticias Caracol.
"Initially they mentioned that they would be built in the so-called border areas, but today they are in the public transit zone and not where the heavy cargo vehicles transit towards the port," said Ivan Dario Acevedo, a representative of the merchants.
He said the protests are not against toll collections, but the location of the tolls within the region because they directly affect local residents and small transporters. The strike will continue until the tolls are relocated.
Coinciding with the toll demonstrations are organized strikes to protest unemployment in the region. Late December, the Citizens' Initiative Committee said that, as of January 3, the residents of several municipalities in Uraba would start an indefinite transportation and commerce strike.