Encapuchados, or hooded ones, are a frequent sight on the Universidad Nacional's Plaza del Ché, where they usually toss small papa bombas, fire off shotguns for effect and declaim against capitalism and the Colombian government.
The group on the plaza today did shoot off firecrackers and comandeered the university security's motorcycles, but did not rant and rave. And the one I talked to was friendly and reasonable. And they even posed for a group of bike tourists.
The young guy, who described himself as 'a common student', said the group's principal protest was against a university plan to obtain a loan from the World Bank. In the past, the protester said, the university had not been able to repay such loans and been forced to sell off university land and buildings.
|Posing for a group of bike tourists.|
They didn't seek a revolution, he said, but just an end to neoliberal policies. They wore the capucha, or hood, to protect themselves from retaliation.
Most students just ignored the protesters. And not all agreed with them. One student who approached us called them "bad people", altho he didn't explain why.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours