Lima, Jan 18 (EFE).- San Marcos University, the Americas’ oldest institution of higher education, was transformed Wednesday into a shelter for people who have flocked to the capital from across Peru ahead of planned anti-government protest.
Members of the San Marcos Student Federation (FUSM) said they were opening the campus “to support the communities from the interior of the country.”
The group also asked for a meeting with university chancellor Jeri Ramon, and the university council announced Wednesday that a panel comprising deans, a student representative and officials from the National Ombud’s office will establish “a dialogue with the protesters inside the University City.”
Opponents of Peru’s provisional president, Dina Boluarte, have announced a march in Lima on Thursday to press demands for her resignation, the dissolution of Congress and the convening of a constitutional convention.
Fifty people have died in disturbances following the Dec. 7 ouster and arrest of elected President Pedro Castillo after he tried to dissolve Congress and call early elections.
A San Marcos law student who declined to give her name in light of threats from Ramon to punish those who allowed demonstrators onto the campus told EFE that the FUSM group is not trying to shut down the university.
The aim is to provide lodging for the traveling protesters and give them access to food donated in solidarity “with the struggles that have taken hold in our country.”
Overnight, several double-decker buses full of demonstrators pulled into the campus with the assistance of the FUSM faction.
In an interview with Canal N television, San Marcos chancellor Ramon called on police to evict the “small group” of activist students and the protesters.
“There are not even 30 students, the rest are camouflaged people. San Marcos has always been political, I’m not criticizing that, but rather the form. We cannot permit the use and abuse of that liberty,” she said.
The FUSM pleaded for dialogue to find a peaceful solution.
“We don’t want more repression, no more wounded, no more dead,” the FUSM said, rejecting the idea of police intervention. EFE pfc/dr