As part of a strike that began on Oct. 11, Colombian university students mobilize to reject violence against social leaders and rights defenders.
Colombians march Thursday in nationwide protests. The National Union of Higher Education Students (Unees) announced that these mobilizations will be in rejection of the recent wave of killings of social leaders.
"We will mobilize throughout the country to reject the murder of social leaders and the violation of human rights, as well as to defend public higher education," said Santiago Gomez, a spokesman for Unees in Antioquia.
According to Michel Forst, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, 74 community leaders have been killed between Jan.1 and Nov. 27.
Over 400 social leaders have been killed since the Colombian state signed a peace agreement with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), whose demobilized fighters are also being targeted in the country.
The agreement signed in 2016 ended the military conflict between the Colombian armed forces and FARC but violence is rampant in Colombia's rural areas, where drug trafficking networks and paramilitary forces retain territorial control.