Colombian students join Latin American march for better education

Colombian students have gathered in Bogota to call for Latin American educational reform, following successful protests against their own government.

The march in Bogota was part of a coordinated student action in countries across the Americas, including Argentina, Peru, Mexico and Chile, where they have been demonstrating for more than seven months.

Student leaders from Colombia and Chile came together to organize the joint protest earlier this month after making contact on social networking sites.

The spokesperson for Colombia’s National Student Bureau, Jairo Rivera, said that students from various universities have gathered at the capital’s Plaza de Bolivar to show their solidarity for students’ rights. Concerts and other cultural events were also organized as part of the demonstration.

“There are several things to highlight. The first is that there are a number of problems in terms of education in all the [Latin American] countries [as well as] fallacies in education and culture in some countries of the world,” said Rivera.

The Bogota Metropolitan Police placed 2,500 officers in strategic locations to avoid public order disturbances, and emergency units were also deployed. Helicopters monitored the demonstration from above.

The march in Bogota comes less than two weeks after Colombian students won their protest against reform to Law 30, which they claimed sought to privatize education, increasing costs for students and reducing access to higher education for the poor.

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