Peru: San Marcos students riot and seize university offices over new bypass

Living in Peru
Israel J. Ruiz

Students at the University of San Marcos took more extreme measures on Tuesday after realizing that the Municipality of Lima was not going to stop constructing a bypass and new road next to and on their campus.

Assuring they were shocked and offended that the municipality had demolished one of the university’s walls to continue construction of a new road, students blocked two blocks of Venezuela Avenue and attacked construction workers with rocks and sticks.

Furthermore, students raided the university’s administrative offices and demanded that the university void the contract it had signed with the municipality.

Students affirm the destruction of the wall leaves the university unprotected and open to criminal acts.

They have also explained that construction work would affect archaeological ruins next to the campus.

Municipal authorities claim there are political reasons behind student riots, stating that the wall is to be rebuilt in 20 days.

Furthermore, municipal representatives assure a contract was signed between district authorities and university representatives several months ago.

A similar riot took place in May, when students went up against Peru’s national police with rocks and sticks. The country’s national police responded with tear gas and threw rocks as well.

Riots left several police officers wounded and a group of students detained.