A march of the university community walked through some streets of the historic center of Guatemala City this Tuesday when the 347 years of the founding of the University of San Carlos were commemorated. During it, the resignation of those who make up the CSU was demanded for supporting fraud in the election of rector and for the expulsion of the student Camilo García.
In front of the University Cultural Center building (Old Paraninfo Universitario), scene of important moments in the history of the University of San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC), groups from different generations of university students gathered to commemorate the 347 years of the founding of the university. USAC.
The youngest resist against fraud in the election to the Rectorate, and the others joined together to organize the mobilization.
However, they were not summoned by the fact of the founding of one of the first universities on the American continent; the banners and slogans, shouted at the top of their voices, referred to the current university authorities as corrupt and fraudulent.
A good part of the university community does not recognize the current Higher University Council (CSU), since in May of last year, when the rector Walter Mazariegos was elected, the process had several irregularities that have been considered a fraud. In response, the national student movement took over the central campus and some regional centers demanding that the election process be repeated.
“We are not here to commemorate the founding, we are here to defend the autonomy that has been trampled and continues to be trampled every day by a CSU that has betrayed the USAC,” repeated the speeches of those who took the microphone to encourage those present. to protest and defend university autonomy.
Read about USAC fraud here
The expulsion of Camilo García
The issue that marked the mobilization was the expulsion of the student representative of the Faculty of Chemical Sciences and Pharmacy, Camilo García, who after calling Walter Mazariegos a usurper, was expelled from his representation before the CSU and as a student of the University with the vote of the 22 representatives of the university government.
“We are all Camilo,” “Camilo is not alone,” they shouted in chorus while a student could be heard over the loudspeakers saying that the march was heading towards the Human Rights Office (PDH), where they would deliver a letter with more than two thousand signatures asking Attorney General Alejandro Córdova to investigate the violation of García’s right to education.
Already in front of the PDH facilities, Camilo García appeared and was cheered by the protesters who assured that the expulsion fuels student resistance against the fraud committed by the CSU last March.
In the absence of Córdova, representatives of the PDH received the letter and the signatures, however, García decided to enter in the company of his fellow faculty members to file a complaint against the CSU himself, for violating his right to education. In response, the PDH informed him that they officially initiated an investigation the day the CSU voted for his expulsion.
Read all the information about Camilo’s expulsion here
The march continued towards Pasaje Rubio, where the commemorative plaque is located for Oliverio Castañeda de León, the General Secretary of the Association of University Students (AUE), murdered by State forces in 1978, after giving a speech at the shell. acoustics of the central park a few blocks away.
At the site, the demands of the General Coordinator of Students (CGE) were read, who requested the resignation of the 22 members of the CSU for violating university autonomy and supporting the imposition of Mazariegos as university rector, in addition to demanding the reinstatement of Camilo García as student representative and reverse his expulsion.
They read what they called “Symbolic Execution” naming each of the CSU members and placed piñatas with their photographs, Mazariegos’s one had a pig’s head. In the end, between songs and laughter, they burned some of the piñatas.
García recalled Oliverio Castañeda, who minutes after giving his speech was murdered on the spot. “Today they don’t kill us with bullets, but they expel us and criminalize us,” García said while his companions chanted “Camilo, friend, the people are with you.”
The USAC was founded in 1676 by the royal decree of King Charles II of Spain, who after founding universities in Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic, requested the founding of a university in the Central American region.
The first seven chairs taught were Scholastic Theology, Moral Theology, Canons, Law, Medicine and Languages. The first recorded day of classes is January 7, 1681 with sixty students enrolled, including 7 in theology, 36 in philosophy and the rest of the languages, including Cakchiquel.