SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: January 15, 2015

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Other

Institution(s):Táchira | University of Los Andes

Region & Country:Americas | Venezuela

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 15, 2015, 22 students were injured when a group of police and military officials, together with private militia members, reportedly raided the campus of Universidad de los Andes, Tachira. 
According to reports, the raid began late in the afternoon, with police, military officials, and members of a group of private citizens known as Core Tachira, which is generally politically aligned with the ruling party, entered the campus and fired steel shells, buckshot, tear gas, pepper spray and marbles.  Of the student victims, eight reportedly suffered injuries that were deemed grave.  Following the raid, all undergraduate, graduate and administrative activities were suspended indefinitely.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks on campus. In addition to the harm to any immediate victims, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and institutional autonomy. State officials have a responsibility to ensure the security of higher education communities, to prevent future attacks, and to hold perpetrators accountable.