Battleground Bogota | Molotovs meet tear gas amid student protests

Tear gas and water cannons were used during clashes between riot police and around 200 students near Bogota’s National University of Colombia on Thursday.

Protests were demanding increased educational funding and resources, but were also reportedly galvanised as a result of the refusal by the government to implement changes to Colombia’s specialised riot control unit, the Mobile Anti-Disturbances Squadron (ESMAD) that were called for in a UN recent report on human rights in the country.

The report stated that some ESMAD members had not met “international norms and standards on the use of force,” and urged “an in-depth transformation of ESMAD, including the review of protocols on the use of force and less lethal weapons and ammunitions.”

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