Sacks of looted fertilizer are stacked on the roadside ready for farmers. Sacks of looted fertilizer are stacked on the roadside ready for farmers.

Tired of waiting, farmers loot fertilizer warehouses in Guerrero

The farmers are frustrated over delays in a free fertilizer distribution program

Farmers in the municipalities of Tixtla and Copalillo looted fertilizer from government warehouses and trucks on Friday as distribution delays continue.

About 40 farmers in Copalillo broke into a warehouse owned by the Secretariat of Agriculture and stole fertilizer on Friday morning, which they distributed among themselves and loaded on to pickup trucks.

Earlier in the day about 100 farmers from the communities of El Troncón, Zacazonapa, Omeapa, El Potrero and Tixtla blocked traffic on the Chilpancingo-Tlapa highway in Tixtla with rocks and tree branches, demanding the distribution of fertilizer.

The farmers were hoping to intercept a convoy of 30 semi-trucks carrying fertilizer to the Montaña region of Guerrero, but the convoy had passed by the time the roadblock was set up. However, a government semi-truck carrying 30 tonnes of fertilizer showed up later, and farmers stole its cargo and loaded it on to their vehicles.

Later in the afternoon, the farmers intercepted and looted another truck.

Farmers in Tlapa also blocked traffic while in Taxco, another group of farmers tried to break into a fertilizer warehouse but were repelled by Federal Police.

The farmers said on Friday that three days had passed since the deadline established by municipal and federal authorities for the distribution of fertilizer, although Agriculture Secretary Víctor Villalobos had promised that it would be distributed to 300,000 Guerrero farmers by Monday, July 15.

This is the first year that the federal government has managed the free fertilizer distribution program, which has existed for 24 years. Farmers say the delivery of fertilizer is urgent because the rainy season has already started.

Source: El Universal (sp), SDP Noticias (sp)

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