|Encapuchados in violent action yesterday.|
(Photo: El Tiempo)
The encapuchados, literally the 'hooded ones,' appear in many Colombian protests - and turn them violent. Many blame them for turning yesterday's protest in support of campesino farmers from a peaceful march down Ave. Septima into an orgy of violence which left two people dead, a policeman gravely wounded and hundreds injured, according to authorities. In addition, many central Bogotá business were sacked and vandalized.
|A woman defends police from hooded attackers|
during yesterday's riots. (Photo: El Tiempo)
|Encapuchados set off rockets in a field in the |
National University in Bogotá.
If, as many suspect, the encapuchados are acting at the behest of Colombia's guerrillas, then their hypocrisy is even clearer.
|Encapuchados lined up on La Plaza del Che |
in the National University.
For a protest movement that's supposed to be non-violent, the encapuchados are a cancer, or a time bomb. They turn peaceful protests ugly, turn public sentiment against the demonstrators and give the government justification to militarize Bogotá and employ force against demonstrations - as Pres. Santos vowed to do last night.
It's no surprise that the mainstream of the protesters, who are legitimately concerned about the livelihood of Colombian farmers, have rejected the encapuchados' violence.
|Encapuchados, not yet violent, marching down Ave. Septima in Bogotá during a protest.|