In photos: National strike in Bogotá

By Lukas Kaldenhoff November 22, 2019
Students making their way from Universidad Nacional to the city centre. All photos by Michael Marangos.

Hundreds of thousands of people attended the national strike on November 21. Largely peaceful, they were expressing their anger over various long-standing grievances including labour reform and education as well as violence against indigenous communities and the implementation of the peace agreement.

Among them was Bogota photographer Michael Marangos. He documented the peaceful marches as well as the violent eruptions later in the day.

November 21 – Hear it from the people

A protester waving a Colombian flag on Calle 34 marches in the capital.
Hundreds of thousands were out on the streets to express their anger and dissatisfaction with the government.
Many protesters attended the national strike full of hope for change.
The majority of bogotanos were protesting peacefully.
Optimistic ESMAD forces at the beginning of the strike.

Related: Colombia protests – Hear it from the people

Violence erupted when protesters removed protective covers from the House of Congress.
The police tried to push back people from Plaza Bolívar.
Exploding stun grenades and tear gas forced people to run through the city’s narrow streets.
Many were shocked by the sudden violence – including the photographers.
Not everyone could escape the tear gas. People shared water to wash their eyes.
ESMAD forces were heading to the centre.

Related: How were Bogotá protests for you?

Avenida Caracas was also affected and blocked with trash barricades.
Barricades were put up in the streets of the city centre. Some of them were set on fire by encapuchados.
A young man holds up a stolen police shield.
It has a been long day, not only for the protesters.
Unfortunately, not all the protests were peaceful. At the end of this memorable day, some buildings were left vandalised.