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Striking Colombian miners block roads

Scores of striking miners set fire to trucks and blocked roads in western Colombia on Wednesday (July 17), demanding their mining activity be made legal in the resource-rich South American country. Riot police were deployed as angry miners set fire to equipment and barricaded roads in Valle Del Cauca. Local media reported more than 30 protesters were arrested in scuffles that broke out during the demonstration. The miners began blocking roads early Wednesday, prompting Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos to declare he would not tolerate the closure of a single highway in the country while calling for dialogue to end the conflict. With the demonstration spreading to other mining areas of the country, protesters say they will stay put until their demands are heard. The growing unrest comes as the government tries to boost sluggish economic growth amid a slew of labour disputes across the nation.

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