Social 21-11-2018

Colombian government said guerrilla ELN wants to infiltrate student protests

The Government of Colombia assured that the guerrilla Army of National Liberation (ELN) intends to infiltrate marches of students from public universities that for more than a month have demanded a larger budget for tertiary education.

"The ELN does badly if it wants to handle or manipulate the valid and just demonstrations of the students, because it is a free and spontaneous demonstration of the students," said the high commissioner of Peace, Miguel Ceballos, without giving more details, quoted by his office.

Within the framework of the student strike, seven marches have been held in several cities of the country and the demonstrations are expected to continue in case the students do not reach an agreement with the Government.

On November 19, the negotiating table in Bogotá was revived between the representatives of the 32 public universities of the country and the Minister of Education, María Victoria Angulo, to find solutions.

At the end of the first meeting, none of the parties gave statements to the press, and it transpired that a confidentiality agreement was reached.

According to the State University System, public higher education in Colombia has a deficit of 3.2 trillion pesos (about 1,067 million dollars) in operation and 15 trillion pesos (about 5,000 million dollars) in infrastructure.

The students ask that the budget be reduced for Defense, which by 2019 will have a game of 33.3 billion pesos (about 11,100 million dollars), this is 7.1% more than the amount this year, which is 31 , 6 billion (about 10,533 million dollars).

Finally, they call on Congress and human rights organizations and the United Nations to "verify the violent actions" of the police and the Mobile Anti-riot Squad (Esmad) in the treatment of social protest.

The demonstrators maintain that the police force has caused damage to the physical integrity of "dozens of students in the national territory" in the context of the demonstrations.


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