Mass university student riots broke out in Bogota on Wednesday, shutting down major road networks and leaving 3 policemen injured, local media reported.
Riots began at 11am on Wednesday with masked university students clashing with members of the Mobile Riot Squad (ESMAD) outside the National University.
Eyewitness reports tell of huge clouds of smoke as tear gas and and other anti-riot methods were deployed, leaving whole areas of Colombia’s capital city of Bogota blocked off and 3 policemen injured, according to Semana newspaper.
The protests come just 2 days after over 1,000 students took to the streets of Bogota demanding that Mayor Gustavo Petro take action against corruption in academic institutions.
These riots also hark back to the student protests in 2011 and 2012 in both Bogota and across Colombia.
The riots were against the implementation of Law 30 which would inject funds into the education system but critics claimed that the law would lower the quality of education, undermine the autonomy of universities and dramatically increase the cost of education for students.
Further strikes arose in 2012 when students stated that the Colombian government was not sticking to original agreements such as involving students and universities in the construction of education reform and creating a fee subsidy program.
According to Semana newspaper, local authorities are aware of the reason for these most recent riots but are not willing to divulge the reasons to the press.
Local news stations have been suggesting alternative routes for those needing to travel close to where the riots are taking place.
- Disturbios en las universidades Nacional y Pedagógica (Semana)
- Fuertes enfrentamientos entre Policía y estudiantes de la U. Nacional (Caracol)
- Bloqueos viales y trancones por jornada de protestas en Bogotá (Santa Fe Radio)