Bogota’s Government Secretary Antonio Navarro Wolff said guerrilla groups are infiltrating Colombian universities, according to local media reports Monday.
Navarro’s comments come after the death of a student in the central Colombian city of Tunja last week, and the deaths of three youths in Bogota Sunday. In both instances police said the students were killed by their own home made bombs and influenced by Colombian guerrillas.
Navarro told RCN Radio that “the events in Tunja and Bogota are related […] There’s something strange about what happened in Tunja, and I think the [students killed in Bogota] were making bombs for a protest in solidarity with the students of Tunja.”
Reports stated Navarro said pamphlets belonging to Colombia’s largest guerrilla group the FARC were found at the Bogota explosion site. Navarro said this indicated guerrilla groups were infiltrating student groups.
But Navarro clarified that students were not forming urban guerrilla groups. “They are guerrilla sympathizers,” said the government secretary. Navarro was once himself a member of Colombia’s now demobilized urban guerrilla movement M-19.
Navarro also said protesting was acceptable but asked students to refrain from using bombs for the sake of their lives and others.
The accusations of guerrilla infiltration come amidst ongoing student protests over education reform.