Director of the National Police General Oscar Naranjo reported to the president that many students asked police officials to remove a group of 30 suspected guerillas, referred to by Colombian media as “hoods,” who embedded themselves in the nonviolent student protests.
Santos highlighted what he called the “exemplary behavior” of many students and workers who attended the protests peacefully, and said, “They are students who just want to study.”
The president also condemned the violent actions of the group that stormed the protests, and said that the police decision to enter university grounds to halt their behavior was justified, since it was done with the cooperation of the student population.
“Protest is welcome at the university, being rebellious is intrinsic, but this is good when it is done without violence” said the president.
Tensions have been high in public universities across Colombia since March, when Santos introduced an education reform proposal that would allow private organizations to fund public universities.