PERU: Student strike unabated amid bloody conflict

Students from Huancavelica National University in central Peru remain on strike despite concessions by the government in a conflict that has left three people dead, hundreds injured and several regional government buildings sacked and burned to the ground.

Since mid-June clashes have erupted between the people and students of Huancavelica.

The strike continues despite guarantees by the outgoing government of President Alan García that their university will not share budget, premises and teachers with the newly-created National Autonomous University of Tayacaja, which has been criticised as a hastily built pork-barrel project.

After winning the battle over their institution’s resources, Huancavelica National University (HNU) students have turned against what they claim is a corrupt and inept administration. The resignation on 6 July of Rector Yda Camposano seems to have not solved matters.

Students are now calling for HNU to be completely restructured. Many teachers, however, say restructuring would be counterproductive. The final decision on how to proceed is now in the hands of an investigative team from the National Assembly of Rectors (NAR), which arrived in Huancavelica on 14 July.

A radio report from Huancavelica seems to have added fuel to the fire by reporting that the HNU had faired poorly in a just-released ranking by a national NGO that measures the transparency of Peru’s public universities.

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