BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Thousands of students have disrupted life in Colombia's capital with amid nationwide demonstrations called to press demands for President Ivan Duque to increase education spending.

By early evening, police in Bogota used tear gas to disperse marchers trying to reach wealthier neighborhoods.



The "Pencil March" rallies across Colombia were the latest chapter in more than a half-dozen street protests in recent months demanding that the government boost funding for education.

Student enrollment in the South American nation's public universities has quadrupled since the early 1990s, while spending has only marginally increased and activists contend quality is deteriorating.

The students protests have converged with other demonstrations against proposed tax changes that critics say will be a blow to the middle class by increasing the cost of basic goods.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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