Colombia News – Anti-riot police were dispatched Thursday to break up protests in a Bogota university that are said to have been provoked by guerrillas embedded within the student protest groups.
The Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron of the police confronted protesters outside of the National University in the capital city, and were met with resistance, including home made bombs, one of which managed to injure a police officer.
RCN Radio reported Thursday morning that during a student protest , 30 suspected guerrilla members, known in the Colombian media as “hoods,” embedded themselves within student protest groups and stormed the university campus wearing Che Guevara t-shirts. They subsequently began destroying surveillance cameras, windows and doors on the property.
Protesters eventually gathered in the university’s Plaza Che Guevara and later spilled out onto the street, blocking traffic on Carrera 30 with Calle 45.
Directors of the National University evacuated the campus at 9:30 AM with RCN Radio reporting a small explosion as the reason for the evacuation.
Bogota’s Transmilenio bus transportation system had to close stops near to the campus as a result of the disturbances.
Tensions have been high in public universities across the country since March after President Juan Manuel Santos proposed a new education reform that allows for private organizations to fund public universities.
Hundreds of thousands of students, faculty, and union members protested the reform in cities across the country on Thursday April 7. These protests were reportedly peaceful with the exception of minor incidents in Bogota and Pereira.