Fri. Apr 3rd, 2020

Violence outbreaks in Bogotá tarnish mostly peaceful protests

Clashes between protesters and members of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squadron (Esmad) of the Police in Bogotá tarnished on Friday the second day of protests called by the Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Fecode) against the murder of teachers and social leaders.

The mole of the second day of protests, convened by the Colombian Federation of Educators (Fecode), was marred by the riots carried out by a group of young people at the District University, in the center of Bogotá, which resulted in the intervention of Esmad.

The clashes between students and members of the Police Riot Squadron (Esmad) left at least one person injured and several bruises.

The situation, which occurred at nightfall, caused traffic jams in the neighboring streets because private and public transport vehicles chose to take alternate routes.

In support of the Police and Esmad came several tanks that launched jets of water and then were attacked with stones and bottles.

The mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, who supports social demonstrations without violence, said Wednesday that Esmad and the Police “have express authorization to intervene instantly in the face of any use of violence in the protests.”

In addition, he clarified that the protests are against the National Government and not the District, so he called on the Executive “to grant the reasons for the mobilization and find solutions to reduce tension with citizens.”


“The demonstrations of these two days have been successful, what they demonstrate is that the mobilizations are still alive because they defend the working class, the students and advocate for life,” the president of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) told Efe ), Julio Roberto Gómez.

He added that the organizers ratified “the national strike for March 25, which will include a strike from different productive sectors of the country because the reforms proposed by the Government will affect workers in those sectors.”

In this regard, Elías Fonseca, a member of the executive committee of the Unitary Central of Workers (CUT), said that the work stoppages of the past year and of this “are more than justified because the Duke Government will submit (to Congress) the pension reform that said that I wasn’t going to present. “


As on Thursday, the largest demonstrations were in Bogotá where students, teachers, trade unionists, truck drivers, dump trucks and even a group of drivers of the Integrated Public Transportation System (SIPT) were mixed, protesting because, according to them , they were going to unfairly fire them

There were also marches and seedlings in Cali, Medellín, Barranquilla and Bucaramanga, where the authorities reported no disorders and where there was “participation of teachers, students and other sectors,” said the president of the CGT.

At the beginning of the day there were attempts to block the portals of Suba, Las Américas and Usme, where small groups tried to block mobility.

The protesters left from different points of Bogotá to advance towards the Plaza de Bolívar, the political heart of the country, where they gathered under a garúa that accompanied them in part of the afternoon.


Fonseca stressed that the marches were “very quiet” and that Fecode’s claims “are more than justified” because “the violent have killed 14 teachers last year.”

“To this we add that at least more than 1,100 teachers have been killed in the last 30 years, which makes it clear that the guild is one of the most affected by violence,” he said in union leader.

He recalled that teachers have “bad health care because getting an appointment with a general practitioner is almost impossible and with a specialist it is even worse.”

To this is added that the national government supposedly has not complied with agreements signed in past years and basically seeks to allocate more economic resources to attend basic and secondary education.

“None of that has been accomplished,” he said.


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