Police and protesters clash over public transportation in Bogota

Five stations of Bogota’s mass transit system Transmilenio were completely destroyed after riots occurred during protests over the bad performance of the city’s public transport system.

According to Bogota mayor Gustavo Petro, some 60 people were arrested in the riots. According to the mayor, the violent protesters “was not a spontaneous student movement, but a vandalist group of 50 people.”

Newspaper El Tiempo said Friday was the worst day in the 12-year history of Transmilenio, which transports hundreds of thousands of bogotanos each day.

According to the newspaper, the riots began around 7:30 AM when some 400 people shut down the Transmilenio’s Southern Portal and within half an hour 10 more stations were blocked by protesters.

During the riots that lasted until the evening, ticket boots were looted.

Petro blamed opposition movements of having orchestrated the shutdown of the public transport system, which consequently resulted in massive traffic jams as commuters took their cars instead of the bus.

Petro vowed the city’s mass transit system Transmilenio will be working normally on Monday.

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