On June 8, 2023, violent clashes broke out between hooded protesters and riot police on the campus of the National University of Bogota, leaving a police officer seriously injured.
Protesters had gathered to commemorate the Day of the Fallen Student, a day recognizing fallen student protesters throughout Colombian History. A group of hooded individuals associated with a movement known as the Jaime Baterman Cayon movement reportedly attacked officers with improvised explosive devices. One officer, John Freddy Rodríguez, was hit with a device and seriously injured as a result. As of June 15, 2023, he remained hospitalized in a medically induced coma and was being treated for his injuries. As of this report, no arrests had been reported in connection with the attack.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks on campus, including in connection with on-campus protests. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, violence on campus erodes academic freedom, damages everyone’s ability to exercise the rights to engage in freedom of expression and assembly, and harms democratic society generally.