Public school teachers represented by the Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Fecode) held a 24-hour strike on Thursday, September 12, with main gatherings taking place in the cities of Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Medellín, and Cartagena. In Bogotá, teachers marched through the streets on Thursday morning (local time) and gathered at Plaza de Bolívar. During the demonstration, some students from the District University in La Macarena also joined in the protest, blocking Circunvalar Avenue in the city center for over two hours. Officials deployed the Mobile Riot Squadron (ESMAD), who used tear gas and armored vehicles to break the blockades. Protesters responded by throwing stones and other objects at the police officers before eventually leaving the area.
Fedcode may organize further demonstrations and strikes in the near term, particularly in Bogotá. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions should be expected surrounding all protests. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Teachers held a nationwide 48-hour strikes on August 28-29 to draw attention to poor health coverage and the targeted murders of teachers and other human rights activists in Colombia.
Individuals in Colombia are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests as a precaution, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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