Three days after Friday’s surprise resignation of the president of the University of Puerto Rico, Governor Luis Fortuño finally bowed to a key student demand and pulled police from the university’s campuses.
Students have been protesting fee hikes and other university policies for a year, with the Fortuño administration launching a major crackdown about two months ago. More than two hundred activists have been arrested since, and clashes between cops and demonstrators have grown steadily more violent. In recent weeks, reports of police harassment and molestation of female protesters have also begun to mount.
Last Wednesday, faculty declared a 24-hour strike in support of the students, a strike which was later extended to a second day. On day two of the strike, UPR President Ramón De La Torre resigned, effective immediately, giving no advance notice.
Acting President Miguel Muñoz said yesterday that he may ask the governor to return police to the campus if coming negotiations with protesters break down.