University students represented by the UNEES union (Unión Nacional de Estudiantes de Educación Superior) are holding another day of nationwide protests on Wednesday, October 17, to demand more funding for public education. The largest gatherings are expected in the capital Bogotá. Students have threatened to block main city streets, and to occupy Bogotá’s Plaza de Bolívar until October 20. Associated traffic disruptions are to be anticipated in the vicinity of demonstrations. Low-level violence (clashes, vandalism) cannot be ruled out. A similar action held October 10 saw thousands of students take to the streets of more than 20 Colombian cities.
University students and faculty launched a nationwide strike on October 12, after promises by the government to increase the education budget fell short of union demands. All 32 public universities in the country are expected to remain closed until further notice. The Federation of Educators of Colombia (FECODE; Federación Colombiana de Educadores), representing over 300,000 teachers nationwide, has said it may join the strike on October 18. Further street protests are likely throughout the duration of the strike.
Individuals in Colombia are advised to avoid all protests as a precaution and allow for additional time to reach their destinations.
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