CISPES ACTION ALERT
July 5, 2006
Salvadoran Riot Police Attack Student Protestors, Threatening to Violate Constitution and Invade National University* Denounce Repression against Students and University Workers!*
Riot police have responded to what began as a peaceful student protest this morning with extreme violence and repression, and the most repressive of all of El Salvador’s police forces are currently (at 3:30 pm) surrounding the National University, including with attack helicopters and snipers.
The violence began this morning when riot police tried to impede a march of high school students protesting the dramatic increase in bus fare. At some point in the march near the National University, when police tried to detain protestors, fighting broke out. Police shot rubber bullets and tear gas at the students, and shots were fired in response. The police then dramatically escalated the repression, shooting into the university both from the ground and from the helicopters overhead. There are numerous reports of deaths and injuries. According to government accounts at least two police are dead and various people are injured, including one of the university administrators. There are also reports that the police killed up to three students, and that there are 10-20 students and university workers seriously injured inside, as well as more injured police outside. This violence comes just 3 days after the torture and murders of the parents of a long time FMLN activist and community organizer. (for more information see http://www.cispes.org/english/Updates_and_Analysis/index.html).
At this moment the police are surrounding the National University and have closed down all entrances and exits. President Saca and Minister of the Interior Rene Figueroa are preparing to flagrantly violate the constitution of El Salvador by sending police in to occupy the campus, continue the violent repression, and continue with the mass round-ups. Take action to denounce this illegitimate use of force against a mostly unarmed student and university population.
1. Call President Saca and Minister of the Interior René Figueroa to denounce the attacks by the Salvadoran riot police and demand the police not invade the autonomous space of the National University campus. President Saca: 011-503-2248-9000. Rene Figueroa: 011-503-2233-7000, ask the operator for the extension “seguridad ciudadana.” You can call even if you speak very little Spanish. Simply say “Estoy preocupada/preocupado por los derechos humanos de los estudiantes. La policia no debe de invadir la universidad nacional. Cese la represión de inocentes y de los movimientos de oposición.”
2. Keep checking for more information and further requests for solidarity from Salvadoran students. Read CISPES Update, July 5 2006: Repression continues as parents of FMLN leader are brutally murdered in Suchitoto http://www.cispes.org/english/Updates_and_Analysis/index.html, and check www.cispes.org for more information tomorrow.