Costa Rica

Mobilizations in defense of university autonomy

April 17, 2010

This Monday, April 12, the most serious police raid on the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) in the last 40 years took place, provoking confrontations between members of the UCR campus police and a large group of police officers from the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), who were apparently looking for a corrupt university transit official.

During the confrontations, dozens of students, workers and union leaders from the UCR became involved; they were demanding respect for university autonomy and the departure of the OIJ police from the campus. After the confrontations, several students and union leaders got arrested; they were quickly freed as a result of the mobilizations.

This violation of university autonomy takes place in the context of an ever more repressive policy of the Óscar Arias government, a policy characterized by the dizzying strengthening of the national police and the OIJ and the approval of repressive laws, like the anti-terrorist law, which seeks to reinforce the criminalization of protest and of workers’ and people’s mobilizations, as shown in the recent militarization of the Port of Limón, in the face of struggles by the workers of the port.

Neither the government authorities nor the repressive state organs were expecting such a dynamic response by the students and workers of the University. Not since 2007 have blockades and mobilizations been seen, like the blockade by more than 600 students and workers in the vicinity of the UCR in recent days.

The LRS [Liga de la Revolución Socialista], a fraternal organization of the PTS in Costa Rica, has been participating in the blockades of streets and the assemblies and mobilizations at the UCR, explaining that university autonomy can only be defended with the broadest mobilization by the university workers and students.

Read the complete declaration of the LRS and news about the struggle at the University at