[QODLink]
Americas

Peru police clash with student protesters

Police in Lima fire tear gas and water cannons to repel students demonstrating against proposed education law.

Last Modified: 05 Jul 2013 08:59
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Several injuries were reported in Lima and at similar protests in several provincial capitals. [Reuters]

Police in Peru have used tear gas and water cannons to repel student protesters marching to the National Congress in the capital city.

The demonstration on Thursday turned violent after students tried to move through the centre of Lima in protest against a proposed education law that they said would take away the autonomy of universities.

Local television showed police firing tear gas and water cannons against protesters, some of whom wielded sticks and were throwing rocks.

Several injuries were reported in Lima and at similar protests in several provincial capitals.

A student leader told reporters that several protesters were also detained after violent clashes with the police.

The students were protesting against a law they believe would force thousands from their jobs and compromise the autonomy of Peru's universities.

According to the students, the new law would affect those who leave their studies for more than two years, because then they would end up outside the university system.

President Ollanta Humala said the reform would improve the quality of sluggish government services and a lagging higher-education system.

But Pedro Cotillo, the rector of the National University of San Marcos, earlier this week said the student community was upset that they and professors had not been consulted.

"We want our voices to be heard, for the law to guarantee the excellence of higher education," Cotillo said.

Though the protests lacked the large size of recent demonstrations in Chile and Brazil that have defied political leaders, they could expose President Humala to renewed criticism after several months of relative calm.

Humala, a former military officer, was elected in 2011 as a moderate leftist but critics say he has since drifted to the right.

277

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.