Universities in Bogota, Colombia are reported to be calm following the burial of a student killed in a recent clash with police.
Universities in Bogota, Colombia are reported to be calm following the burial of a student killed in a recent clash with police. Patricio Silva, aged 19, died on Tuesday (30 May) in an incident started by a group of students who attacked a truck loaded with soft drinks and began hurling bottles at police who retaliated with teargas. One of the gas cannisters struck Silva, killing his instantly. Two other students were seriously injured and a policeman suffered acid burns.
SYNOPSIS: The funeral of Patricio Silva was held on Wednesday (31 May) after further confrontation between the authorities and students. The youth's body was first taken to Bogota's City Hospital but fellow students raided the building and snatched the corpse. They then barricaded themselves in at Bogota Free University and demanded the right to bury him in the presence of colleagues from other universities. This demand was agreed to, and following the funeral, it was reported that an uneasy calm had returned to the main university campuses in the city.
Bogota University itself has been closed until June 12. The Rector, Mr. David Aljure Nasser, told newsmen this was to allow a "cooling down" period in what he termed the "climate of anguish" caused by extremist groups. He said the extremists themselves had sought the closure of the university and had caused serious damage during their protests. The trouble originally began as conflict between pro-Moscow and pro-Peking students, but now these groups appear to have united to fight the security forces.