On Sunday, Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro announced that his administration set fuel prices and purchased crops from farmers in the Nariño department to mitigate the effects of the recent landslides in such area.
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“We will distribute these crops among the population of scarce resources in Nariño and other Colombian zones with high rates of hunger,” Petro said during an extraordinary meeting with his cabinet.
He also declared a state of emergency for the Putumayo and Cauca departments, which became isolated due to the destruction of part of the Pan American highway, the only one in that area able to transport passengers and cargo.
“To counteract this situation, we will coordinate with state agencies the opening of alternative routes that allow the quick resumption of cargo and public transport,” Petro stressed.
The difficulty in bringing gasoline to the region caused a rise in fuel prices. Therefore, the President set a price cap of US$1.91 per gasoline gallon and US$1.80 per diesel gallon.
The Petro administration will evaluate these measures’ efficacy within ten days. If they are not effective enough to address the emergency, the government will approve other initiatives.
The recent landslides in Southern Colombia left no fatal victims but affected about 900 citizens. Since the main areas affected became uninhabitable, Petro also announced that his administration will buy land so that the affected families have a safe place to live.