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  • Students hold banner referring to ex President Uribe as leader of paramilitary right-wing forces in Cali, Colombia, Oct. 10, 2019.

    Students hold banner referring to ex President Uribe as leader of paramilitary right-wing forces in Cali, Colombia, Oct. 10, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 October 2019

The response from the authorities was the repression of students from public and private universities in Bogota.

Colombian police on Thursday repressed thousands of Colombian students who were demonstrating in rejection of corruption and asking President Ivan Duque to comply with the 2018 agreements which were aimed at strengthening education in the country.

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"Students march against police brutality, administrative corruption within the universities and for full compliance with agreements signed with the government," the Bogota's Human Rights Network spokesperson Guillermo Fonseca said.

During the protests several journalists were intimidated by unknown subjects who wanted ongoing events not to be reported to the rest of the country and the world.

Despite the risk inherent in the situation, the students managed to move those characters away from the places where demonstrations were held.

In Bogota, the country's capital, demonstrations were massive due to the confluence of students from the three main public universities, namely, the District University, the National University and the Pedagogical University.

A journey of peaceful protests in Villavicencio city. Demonstration carried out by students from Los Llanos University, which is the Colombia's second most expensive public university.

Protests acquired greater magnitude thanks to the participation of students from private institutions such as Javeriana University, Universidad del Rosario and the Universidad de los Andes.

The most tense moments occurred when the Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squad (ESMAD) violently evicted citizens and students from Bolivar Square, which hosts the Supreme Court, the National Capitol and the Cathedral.

On 2018 the Duque administration agreed with the students to invest about US$1.3 billion to strengthen the Colombian education system.

This commitment was the consequence of massive demonstrations whereby students were trying to avoid further budget cuts. 

Instead of keeping his promise, however, the right-wing president has evaded the realization of improvements to the Colombian education so far.

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