Thursday, 23 June 2011

Peru: students protest university funding laws

Huancavelica universities to have separate funding, protests leave three dead
Source:, 22 June 2011.

Prime Minister Rosario Fernández announced at noon Wednesday that the Autonomous University of Pampas, recently created through a bill passed in Congress, will have its own budget and not take away any financial resources from the National University of Huancavelica.

Speaking to reporters, Fernández hopes that this measure puts an end to the protests that have occurred in this area of ​​the country, but condemned "the attitude and reaction" of the people of Huancavelica, who yesterday sacked and burned regional government headquarters, reports El Comercio.

The students say the creation of a new university in Tayacaja – part of the central region of Huancavelica – will divert resources from the National University of Huancavelica in the regional capital. The government board decided after coordination with the authorities of Huancavelica to provide its own budget to the new university.

"Tayacaja will get its own funding and Huancavelica will too," she added.

The protests in the past few days have left three dead and injured more than 30, reported La Républica.

Three People Killed in Perú University Protest
Source: Hispanically Speaking, 23 June 2011

A minor, a security officer, and another student died on Tuesday when a rally against a new University project turned violent.

A 14 year old girl, a 21 year old student and a 30 year old government security officer were killed in the central region of Huancavelica during a rally against the creation of the National Autonomous University of Tayacaja. The University of Tayacaja is to be created by law, but it wasn’t given enough government funds, and so by law, the National University of Huancavelica must share its financial income.

Police chief Edward Marín Grandez said more than 5,000 protesters attacked the Huancavelica Regional police department.

Officers used tear gas and pellets to prevent the entry of the protesters to the facilities, but rabid rioters attacked them with homemade explosives, stones and knives and attempted to take away their guns. Protesters tried to take the police headquarters, and the University. They also set ablaze the regional government house and a police truck.

In the meantime, another group of people started protesting, calling for the urgent creation of the university.

Peru Protests Leave 3 Dead

Source: Latin America Herald Tribune, 23 June 2011.

Three people died and at least 20 others were wounded in clashes in the southwestern Peruvian region of Huancavelica during a general strike against the creation of a new university using the facilities of an existing institution.

The regional representative of the National Ombud’s Office, Abel Chiroque, told Efe that hours after a man died Tuesday at the scene of the clashes another man and a 14-year-old boy [girl? - RATB] succumbed to their wounds.

“That’s true and we’ve already reported (those latter two deaths) to our central headquarters,” Chiroque said.

The two additional fatalities were identified as Ivan Ccora Quispe, 30, a security guard at a regional office who died while undergoing an operation for a gunshot wound; and a high school student who passed away in an ambulance en route to Lima.

A 23-year-old university student, Oswaldo Quispe Lazaro, died Tuesday during the clashes after being hit by buckshot. Chiroque said an investigation is underway to determine if the shots that caused the deaths were fired by the police or other individuals. He added that the demonstrations were continuing Wednesday, albeit peacefully, and that negotiations have begun to try to resolve the dispute.

University students, backed by several regional civic organizations, have been on strike since June 14 to protest a law that creates the National Autonomous University of Tayacaja.

The law calls for the new university to use the facilities of a branch of the National University of Huancavelica, which demonstrators say will drain the existing institution’s financial and logistical resources.

After several days of sporadic confrontations between demonstrators and security forces, the clashes grew more intense Tuesday when a group of people hurled stones and burning tires at the offices of Huancavelica’s regional government. Police responded with tear gas and buckshot.