U.S student Giulianelli voluntarily leaves Colombia after detention

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María Elizabeth Giulanelli (Left) before voluntarily leaving Colombia / Migración

The political science student at Los Andes University, María Elizabeth Giulianelli, left Colombia on Saturday evening – accompanied by her parents – shortly after her release from a detention centre in Bogotá, where she was kept for allegedly participating in the riots outside the National University on April 28.

Giulianelli was taken by two members of the anti-riot police ESMAD as protestors hurled bricks and potato bombs at security forces, and one of few violent protests that occurred across the country to mark the first-year anniversary of the National Strike – Paro Nacional. Video taken by news crews covering the riot, captured the moment in which the 20-year-old reveals her full name and status as a foreigner in the country.

According to the country’s immigration authority, Migración Colombia, Giulianelli was assigned a lawyer from Los Andes University to deal with the disciplinary case. Within 24 hours of her arrest, the country’s Attorney General’s office ordered her release based on lack of probative evidence “she attacked ESMAD officers.” Shortly after authorities notified Giulanelli’s parents of her arrest, they departed Colorado for Bogotá.

The student had last entered Colombia on April 17 through El Dorado Airport with a Migrant visa. Giulanelli could be allowed to return to Colombia given that she is enrolled at Los Andes University, collaborated with immigration officials, and offered to voluntarily leave the country instead of facing a deportation order and possible 10-year ban from entering Colombia.