The National Union of High Education Students (UNEES) intends to march in Bogotá and other cities on Thursday, January 17. Union representatives say the planned demonstrations are in response to perceived inadequate funding levels for education and to denounce alleged police brutality at a student protest in Cauca department in December. Details of the demonstrations have not been released as of Tuesday, January 15, although organizers have called on participants to march on "major roads and plazas" nationwide. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are likely near the demonstrations. Clashes between police and protesters cannot be ruled out.
University students staged several large demonstrations amid a strike in December. Officers with the Mobile Anti-Disturbances Squadron (ESMAD) clashed with student protesters at the University of Cauca in Popayan on December 13, severely injuring at least one person. UNEES and other unions have called on the government to dismantle ESMAD in the aftermath of the clashes.
Individuals in Colombia are advised to monitor the situation, avoid public demonstrations as a precaution, and anticipate transportation disruptions near protest sites, including public transit service disruptions and roadblocks.
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