A group of hooded people hijacked a bus and set it ablaze Tuesday during student protests at the Technological University of Pereira, central Colombia.
According to Colonel Gonzalo Londoño Portela, the commander of the Pereira Police, a group of hooded people stopped the bus, forced the passengers to leave and then brought it inside the university.
“They threw gasoline and some molotov cocktails and were waiting for the security forces to arrive,” Londoño explained. “Once our units and riot trucks arrived they burned the bus and took refuge inside the university.”
Firefighters could not immediately reach the blaze to put it out.
Liuetenant Ricarcdo Posada said that “the people that were doing the violent protest did not let us pull up, also the riot police did not allow us to get there because the units under my command were in danger.”
Twenty people were arrested in the protest that blocked the east of Pereira for about eight hours.
The Pereira protest is the latest example of violence erupting during student protests. One student was recently killed in Cali and protesters clashed with police in Bogota on October 12. However, reports indicate students were not responsible for the bus attack.
Students and educators across the country have taken to the streets to protest Law 30, the proposed reform of higher education. Critics argue that the law, which aims to privatize the funding of public universities, will undermine their autonomy.