Ongoing social unrest in Colombia has significantly affected the Port of Buenaventura, Colombia’s primary Pacific Coast port, said the American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) in a notification. According to the Club, a blockade of the road to and from the port has been in place for nearly a month.
Cargo discharged at the port has been put in storage at its three main terminals, which are now close to capacity.
Several major ocean carriers have suspended shipments until road access from the port is restored. According to the American Club, “at present, there is no indication of when the blockade will be lifted.”
An article from Agence France-Presse this week looked at the Afro-Colombian community of La Playita, a poor neighbourhood near the port. People in that community “have lived in the firing line of one armed conflict or the other for decades.”
“Since 2014, the state has been ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to protect the people of La Playita,” noted the article. However, gang violence continues to threaten area residents, which led to anti-government demonstrations “that have paralyzed Colombia since the end of April.”