Disorders in the University of Antioquia test the protocol of Daniel Quintero

The main place of the University of Antioquia became yesterday afternoon the center of clashes after the entry of the Mobile Riot Squad (Esmad) to the campus, as part of the security protocol announced on February 11 by Mayor Daniel Quintero.

This protocol, says that in the appearance of the use of explosives inside university campuses, “after any possibility of agreement and after evacuation order that allows the departure of people who are not involved, I will proceed to authorize the entry of the public force.”

A day after the announcement, the vice-principal of the National University of Medellin, Juan Camilo Restrepo,said he was concerned about the impact of the measure. “That would be moving scenarios of outside violence to campuses, where there are vulnerable communities,” he said.

Yesterday, at the time of the Esmad’s admission to the University Citadel, there were still members of the educational community.

“They’re chasing us all over the university with gas,” one of the students said. At 4:14 p.m., the school insisted through its official accounts on the evacuation order.

The Mayor of Medellin reported that from the morning he carried out monitoring of the different protests in Medellin.

“The presence of hoods and the use of explosives could be established, in a particular way, at the University of Antioquia, so the protocol that began with the evacuation process was activated at 1:00 p.m.,” he added.

He also said that “the evacuation was coordinated on land and air, by human rights officials and the Police Hawk, before activating the protocol. At the same time a humanitarian corridor was granted so that students could be withdrawn. The purpose is to recover control.”

At 6:53 p.m., Quintero appeared on media and said that “there is a red line that we will not let cross and it is the use of explosives in universities (…) Explosives continued to be used even though we had already declared an evacuation alert. More than 4 hours of evacuation request, they didn’t want to evacuate some.” He added that the Esmad has been “preparing not to go in and injure anyone. More than 95% of students evacuated as recommended.”

Authorities reported two police officers and one civilian injured, all three with minor injuries.

While the mayor gave his report, student leaders criticized the implementation of the protocol and the entry of the public even with the presence of numerous students on campus.