Colombia is experiencing one of its worst environmental crises of recent years due to forest fires caused by the El Nino phenomenon. Meanwhile, the country’s firefighters are preparing for a national strike on January 30.
“We will meet with national firefighter directors on January 30, and if possible, on January 31, with Minister Velasco to approve the budget, we will be in Bolivar Plaza arming and listening,” declared José Conde Sánchez, Meta’s firefighter delegate captain, in an interview.
Firefighters dissatisfied with Budget Cuts in Colombia
This situation has arisen from government decisions, such as a 25% reduction in the budget allocated to Colombian firefighters in 2024.
Sanchez said that many professionals now lack the necessary uniforms to extinguish fires in many areas of the country.
The firefighter team aims to collaborate with the president to combat the El Nino phenomenon, since high temperatures may last until the middle of March.
President Gustavo Petro sent a message to all country mayors to sign agreements with firefighter squads in each city, since the central government lacks an agency to carry out these tasks.
“Every mayor should know that the emergency system works like this: first, the municipality acts; if it is overwhelmed, the department acts; and if this is overwhelmed, the nation acts. This procedure established by law has a logic: not to disrupt the action and to be able to carry it out throughout the country,” Petro explained on his X account.