The university community has historically come under attack from extremist or ultra authoritarian leaders. The public university is and has always been a place where freedom of thought, expression, debate and social criticism can flourish, a public space where the very people oppressed by an unjust, elitist political and economic system can gain access to the knowledge and skills to present viable alternatives to it. This exercise in basic democratic rights strikes fear in leaders cognizant of their crimes against the majority.
For any coercive force to consolidate its power, it needs to win supremacy within the realm of ideas, so it is perhaps unsurprising that paramilitary violence is rife within one of the main sources of critical ideas in Colombia: the public universities. Death threats and the assassination and “disappearance” of students and staff have increased in recent years, as part of an attempt to fence in academic freedom and stifle criticism of the social injustice in which Colombia’s armed struggle is rooted.
The Colombia Solidarity Campaign works in solidarity with the Colombian University community in defence against repression.
Read more.. (Leaflet in Word format)