More than 600 school teachers have been threatened in 2013 so far, Colombia’s Education Minister said on Tuesday.
“According to information provided by education authorities throughout Colombia, today there are 625 cases of threats against teachers,” Minister María Fernanda Campo told Caracol Radio.
In the capital Bogota, the majority of the threats reportedly come from pupils and parents, whereas in the rest of the country illegal armed groups and criminal gangs are said to be behind the majority of threats.
The minister predicted that the real number of threatened teachers is much higher, as many cases are not recorded and that although only 25 cases had been registered in Bogota in 2013, the real figure would be around 100.
Colombia’s government will implement legislation to protect teachers from falling victim to such threat, Campo said.
“Over the next few days we are going to issue a decree that will allow us to strengthen protection mechanisms for our teachers who are threatened or displaced,” the minister told Caracol.