Prime Minister looks to calm Huancavelica University protests

Peruvian Prime Minister Rosario Fernandez said Wednesday that the country’s Executive branch will provide resources to a new university in Huancavelica region, in an attempt to quell deadly protests by students at the nearby National University who oppose the new learning center.

“I want to be very clear and categorical in mentioning that this topic originated in and by the Congress,” state news agency Andina reported Fernandez as saying.

“It is not a topic for the Executive. It is a bill created by two lawmakers, [Jose] Saldana and Miro Ruiz, approved in Congress, to create the Tayacaja University, by removing goods and some of the resources from the other university.”

Confrontations between students from Huancavelica’s National University and police have led to three deaths –of a 14-year-old girl, a university student and a watchman at the regional investment office– as well as numerous injuries and the sacking of government buildings.  The protests had been building up over several weeks as Congress failed to seek solutions, and additional police were sent from Lima.  

Students, who have received support from civil society organizations, are concerned that the National University will be affected by plans to create the Tayacaja University.

Protests continued on Wednesday, with Huancavelica’s Regional President Maciste Diaz calling for calm.

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