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: September 11, 2019

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):National University of San Marcos

Region & Country:Americas | Peru

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On September 11, 2019, clashes broke out between police and demonstrators during a protest at the National University of San Marcos in Lima.

The students gathered to protest the construction of a bypass that would greatly decrease university land. Students reportedly blocked traffic, with some setting fires and launching fireworks on an avenue just outside the university gates. Sources indicate that some of those students launched fireworks towards police. The latter lobbed tear gas canisters in return. As a number of student protesters dispersed, with some entering the campus, police reportedly continued to throw tear gas canisters, including towards the campus.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence during a student protest. While students and civil society have a right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, they have an obligation to exercise those rights peacefully and responsibly. State authorities are likewise obligated to ensure the security of higher education communities, and to refrain from violent or disproportionate actions that endanger members of the higher education community. Such violence threatens academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)