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  • The students' lawyer said:

    The students' lawyer said: "Never in history have we had a dean who every time there is a problem, orders police intervention." | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 April 2018
Opinion

The students' lawyer, Julio Quintanilla, said: "Never in history have we had a dean who every time there is a problem, orders police intervention."

The dean of the Universidad Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM) in Peru has ordered police to retake the campus after it was occupied by student protesters, resulting in 17 arrests and 30 injuries.

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According to Peruvian newspaper La Republica, around 400 police agents stormed the campus in Peru's capital, Lima, breaking blockaded gates with armored vehicles at the request of Dean Orestes Cachay. Videos of the intervention quickly spread across social media.

From Peru, teleSUR correspondent Jaime Herrera tweeted: "Peru's police intervene in UNMSM and arrest student leaders who were protesting for their rights. The dean prefers repression to dialogue."

The students' lawyer, Julio Quintanilla, said: "Never in history have we had a dean who every time there is a problem, orders police intervention."

In response to allegations of heavyhandedness, the dean released a statement: "As dean, I had to ensure order… We must respect the principle of authority and autonomy in the university."

The students occupied the campus to protest changes to the general education curriculum, which they say have reduced quality.

The student federation published a list of demands on its website, including that the university fill 150 vacant spots for professors; allow student participation in choosing professors and the curriculum, and end general studies classes.

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