On June 9, the Research action group LASC, with our colleague Victor Flores, gave a talk about the conflict at the University of San Simón in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
The city of Cochabamba, where 15 years ago, the transnational «Aguas del Tunari» (Brechtel) was expelled for trying to privatise water got up again, with a massive protest asking quality on education for their children in the Universidad Mayor de San Simon.
Students of this public University have been fighting about three months, in defence of quality and good service for people in Cochabamba, and against some powerful groups (university authorities) that try to legalise 900 teachers by seniority and not by competence examinations, which goes against of university laws and regulations in Bolivia. This kind of process would be strange to academic life, because in universities around the world is common and mandatory the examination of teachers to prove their skills and qualifications.
In this talk were the organisation of Marea Granate Dublin, students, workers, social scientists with our colleague Victor Flores. They developed an interesting and interactive talk about Higher Education, Student movements and political persecution of leaders especially in this Bolivian University.
Marcia Torrico, student, continues on hunger strike during 15 days, because during the university conflict, bolivian authorities ordered to put her 3 years old adopted daughter away from her, who was living with her foster family since she was two months. Another student, Jarlin Coca was in jail for a month and is now she is on parole.
While this talk was conducted in Ireland, in Bolivia, a massive protest was led by the Central Obrera Departmental (COD) and the Coordinator of defence of education in Cochabamba. Teachers, workers, traders, farmers and people from Cochabamba were part of and supporting this student movement.