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 26, 2017

Attack Types: Travel Restrictions


Region & Country:Americas | Chile

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 26, 2017, Michael Peña, Eduardo Pillaca and Carla de la Cruz, all Peruvian university students traveling in Chile to study the history of the country’s labor movements, were deported after authorities discovered that they were carrying Marxist and anarchist literature.

The students had entered Chile on January 18, 2017, at the invitation of Chilean students whom they had previously met while the Chilean students were travelling in Peru. As they disembarked from a bus following a trip between the cities of Iquique and Antofagasta, police investigators stopped the three students and reportedly rummaged through their bags and interrogated them extensively regarding their stay in Chile. The investigators permitted the students to continue travelling, but authorities began following and surveilling them thereafter. The students then traveled to the city of La Serena, where they and their hosts were reportedly subject to identity checks and monitored by police. Two days later, on January 24, the students were stopped again by police, taken into custody, and brought to a local police station where authorities interrogated them about their ideologies and the purpose of their trip. Eventually, Peña, Pillaca, and de la Cruz were informed that they were the subject of an order of expulsion, and were taken – on a 17 hour trip during which they were not permitted to eat – across the border into Peru.

On April 12, 2017, the National Coordinator of Immigrants and the National Institute of Human Rights appealed the case on behalf of the Peruvians students. The Supreme Court ultimately granted the appeal and rescinded the order of expulsion, finding significant due process violations, and holding, in effect, that possession of anarchist literature or holding anarchist beliefs does not constitute a violent act or otherwise serve as a basis for an order of exclusion.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about restrictions on students’ travel apparently to retaliate against or prevent nonviolent academic expression. Absent evidence to the contrary, such actions suggest an intent to obstruct the exercise of the rights to academic freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom of association – conduct which is protected under international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights. State authorities have a responsibility to protect academic freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom and association, and to refrain from imposing arbitrary restrictions on movement intended to limit these freedoms.  Such actions undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.

Sources: [Rol: CS criminal-16616-2017. Rol ing. 84-2017 (C.A Antofagasta)]

Presentan recurso de amparo por expulsión de jóvenes peruanos