Peru: Student riot at San Marcos University leaves two officers injured

Living in Peru
Israel J. Ruiz

Luis Castañeda, the mayor of the municipality of Lima, has asked citizens across the country’s capital to please be patient and understand that the roadwork being done is necessary for Lima to be a modern city and catch up to other Latin American countries.

Upon traveling through Lima, there are very few districts where motorists, commuters and pedestrians will not run into construction.

There have been complaints and discomfort but nothing like what happened today at the National University of San Marcos.

One of the projects the municipality of Lima is working on is the construction of a bypass at the intersection of Venezuela and Universitaria Avenues in Cercado de Lima.

This is also the intersection where San Marcos, the oldest university in South America, is located. Aside from the bypass that is being built, the municipality will also widen Universitaria Avenue.

Since the avenue is bordered by stores and the university, the municipality decided to use property belonging to the university to make the street bigger.

Students claim to have been complaining to the university’s dean for over six months and say no progress has been made. They took to the streets last week claiming they were being ignored and their rights were being violated.

Protests escalated to riots on Thursday afternoon when students began throwing rocks at police and police responded with tear gas. It was reported that a vehicle was set on fire and two officers were injured.

Over 500 students had gathered at the university to begin a march. They were interrupted by police when it was known they had not notified authorities they would be marching to downtown Lima.