Students of Medellin’s University of Antioquia tore down hidden surveillance devices allegedly installed by Colombia’s Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron (ESMAD), university students reported Friday.
According to a student website, a group of students wearing hoods on Thursday afternoon ripped down microphones and cameras that were disguised as electricity boxes and exit signs. Forty minutes later, members of Colombia’s riot police (EMSAD) entered the school “violently” and removed remaining hidden cameras, some of which, according to the students, had been placed in ladies’ bathrooms.
The report continued by stating that ESMAD fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun guns at groups of students. Several students were injured and four were arrested.
Other news sources state that the student riot required control from ESMAD. Accusations that ESMAD installed the security cameras were rejected by the assistant dean of the university, Martiniano Jaimes Contreras. He said that the security cameras were installed a year ago by the order of Governor Luis Alfredo Ramos Botero to monitor violence and drug sales on campus.
Medellin’s police sub-commander, Colonel Juan Pablo Guerrero, said the ESMAD riot police entered the university to control the protesters, who at apparently staged the event during end-of-year ceremonies and prospective student events.
Friday classes were cancelled and administrative offices are closed as a result of the riots.