Police arrest criminal suspects infiltrating Colombian universities

Seven guerrilla suspects including six students have been caught infiltrating Colombian universities.

The six students and one teacher accused of rebel activity were allegedly “responsible for recruiting college students and getting supplies and ordinance” for FARC, according to Caracol Radio.

The official police report said that one of the arrested students and ringleader of the group, Jaime Alexis Bueno, alias “Lechugo” or “Alex,” was responsible for killing an anti-riot police agent during riots on August 31 at the University of Valle in the western Valle del Cauca department.

According to El Tiempo, Lechugo had direct contact with FARC leader Manuel Cepeda Vargas though the official police report did not attribute the seven prisoners to any specific criminal group, and were named only as members of a terrorist network.

Police claimed that Lechugo and his group intended to vandalize the Industrial University of Santander (UIS) on September 26, the anniversary of  the death of FARC leader “Mono Jojoy.”

During operations, authorities seized 171 explosive devices including 150 explosive potatoes and various materials for making the artifacts such as sulfur and potassium hydrochloride. Police also found subversive propaganda, masks, overalls to hide riot uniforms and a map of UIS vulnerabilities.

Police reported that five of the detainees were university students, four of which belong to universities located in Bogota, as well as one high school student and one high school teacher.

Publications such as El Liberal and Vanguardia have also claimed that the suspects were not only linked to FARC but also to the M-19 and Bolivian Youth Movements. Banners with M-19 symbols painted on them were found by authorities, making it unclear as to which criminal group(s) the students were affiliated with.

The infiltration of FARC and other guerrilla movements in universities has been an ongoing issue since government officials announced in March earlier this year that guerrilla groups were infiltrating various universities in the country.

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