Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Closing of University of El Salvador by protesters

For almost a week, the University of El Salvador has been closed by protesters. As described in Diario Colatino(Spanish) and Prensa Latina (English), the protesters want the University to cease negotiating a $25 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank:

The demonstration began Saturday, when young people convoked by MAUES (Abundant University Movement) blocked access to the university to condemn an Inter-American Development Bank loan they considered to have a privatization aim.

The 25 million dollar loan was made conditional on increase of students´ fees, academic reform, and violation of university autonomy, read demonstration fliers.

UES President Isabel Rodriguez asserted the government negotiated the loan with the IDB to improve teaching and research at four regional university headquarters, and update academic and teaching programs.

However, students said those are pretexts to privatize the university, where over 30,000 youth currently study.

Members of MAUES, which encompasses students, teachers and administration workers, said they were committed to protest indefinitely.

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