The farmers who detained 50 soldiers and police officers on Friday in Heliodoro Castillo, Guerrero, released their captives on Saturday after meeting with state and federal authorities.
On Saturday afternoon, representatives of the farmers’ group traveled to Acapulco to meet with Governor Héctor Astudillo and federal super-delegate Pablo Almícar Sandoval. Both promised the farmers that distribution of fertilizer, which the farmers had been demanding, will begin on Monday.
“There’s fertilizer in Guerrero already, it’s in warehouses, and we are asking for some patience so we can plan the distribution,” Almícar said. “We’ve already published the list of who’s going to receive it, first we’re going to distribute to the Sierra and Montaña regions, and then the rest of the state.”
Astudillo told Televisa that the delay in distribution was due to changes in the new government.
“The truth is that I would have preferred the distribution to have started a month ago or more,” he said. “I understand that these new rules, because they are innovative, are creating delays.”
The fertilizer will be used on more than 400,000 hectares of farmland across the state.
The standoff began on Friday when around 400 farmers surrounded an military barracks, trapping 30 soldiers and 20 state police officers inside. The farmers demanded that the government follow through on promises to distribute fertilizer to their communities. They also demanded the construction of schools and health clinics.
They also complained that the new government is asking them to stop growing opium poppies, but is cutting agricultural subsidies like Procampo.