College protests have a ‘terrorist structure’

The government has announced a crackdown to halt the unrest on college campuses, as President Santos says they will act forcefully to prevent the violence of a small number from taking over the college, El Espectador reported Friday.

As riots swept through universities in Bogota, Medellin and Tunja (Boyaca), national police chief Oscar Naranjo claimed that the disturbances had at their source a “heirarchical structure” which “have all the ingredients to qualify as a terrorist [movement].”

“The government has taken the decision to proceed with intelligence processes…and not to allow violent demonstrations to arise,” he added.

The senior officer announced that students, professors and directors of at least five colleges have had their journeys impeded by the protests and demonstrations.

The demonstrations have been triggered by a variety of factors, ranging from objections to a limitation on the length of stay at the University of Antioquia, to student fees at the University of Caldas, where the some 70% of students that are currently exempt from tuition fees are due to be reduced to around 20%.

Security forces are usually not allowed to enter university campuses, which has opened the door in some places for FARC recruitment opportunities, leading the Naranjo to warn that students must not get manipulated by “professional agitators and terrorists.”

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