Colombian students say they maintain massive protests scheduled on Thursday, despite President Juan Manuel Santos‘ proposal to withdraw a controversial reform on education.
Santos told the students that he “accepts the withdrawal of the project of education reform only if the [student] strike is ended and classes are continued.”
However, the students say they will not end the strike until after the President has withdrawn the reform and maintained they would “shut down” the Colombian capital and massively protest in other cities, with the support of labor unions.
Sergio Fernandez, a leader of the Alternative National Education Board (MANE), told newspaper El Tiempo that Santos’ announcement “demonstrates the truthfulness of our arguments, that we are right.”
According to El Tiempo, the students refuse to comply with Santos because the president’s offer only met one out of several demands – the others related with the construction of a new proposal of reform and of student mobilization.
“We need to feel secure about the methodology that will be used to create the new proposal, we need a guarantee that we will be involved, and until we know how this process will be, we will maintain the strike”, told Juan Sebastian Lopez, a member of the operative committee for the MANE.
The students described Thursday’s march as “the biggest in a generation. Not even a car will be able to move if the students don’t allow it.”