At the end of April, I passed through Tegucigalpa, Honduras and spoke there with Kely Estefanie Nuñez and Erlin Guitierrez. Both are activists of the “Socialist Student Front” (FES), a group that emerged after the military coup in 2009 in the second public university, the National Pedagogical University Francisco Morazan (UPNFM). The FES has been one of the most active groups at the university since then.
I interviewed Kely and several of the other FES activists last year on their activities (in Spanish):
Now the two activists have been excluded from the university. The management accuses the two having started and led student protests. Specifically, they are accused of violating Article 114 of the Academic Rules of the UPNFM in the following points:
- Intentional disobedience manifested towards UPNFM authorities on issues with institutional interest, with a tendency of insubordination,
- Organizing events involving the name of the UPNFM or association of students for personal gain,
- Suspend work in order to perform tasks or activities without prior approval of the rectory or leadership of the center
- Encourage students to revolt against the authorities or against established rules that are to insure the efficient operation of the UPNFM,
- perform acts that damage the public image of the institution,
- publicly denigrate the institution internally or externally.
In other words, there is nothing of substance in the accusations – any young person going will break such ‘rules’ any day if the institution decides to interpret it that way.
And this is not the first time they are accused of this “crime”. The last time (last year), Kely was ordered to seek “psychological therapy” to get rid of their rebellious tendencies. Although both Kely and Erlin were quite active, on this particular day (the 7th of March, when there was a peaceful march against increments in gas prices which ended in an attack by the police), the two told me they were not even among the main organizers. Erlin was at home, and Kely was in class (organic chemistry).
I was contacted by the activists of the FES due to the links te UPNFM has with Germany – such as the collaboration with the University of Flensburg and the training the staff of the UPNFM has received from the GTZ.
Yesterday they had an activity, and finished with 17 arrested and one person was still being held this morning.
You can find the campaign against the expulsion in Facebook: