Colombian president calls out 50,000 troops after protests kill two

Aug. 30, 2013 at 3:48 PM

BOGOTA, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Colombia's president announced the deployment of 50,000 troops Friday to patrol the capital, Bogota, after violent protests left two people dead.

Speaking on television, President Juan Manual Santos said troops may be sent to other cities that have seen clashes between protesters and security forces.

Highways have been blocked and windows have been smashed in foreign-owned businesses, banks and fast food restaurants, CNN reported.

The protests are rooted in a strike, which started Aug. 19. Farmers are demanding government support and credits, claiming they cannot compete against foreign agricultural businesses that benefit from free trade agreements, CNN said. It noted farmers who traveled to Bogota were joined by labor unions and students in marches throughout the city.

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