To demand decent education and free science, dozens of people on Saturday marched to the National Palace, where they asked President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to remove the head of the National Council for Science and Technology (CONASET), María Elena, from his post. Alvarez Boella.
“We maintain that university spaces are neutral places for deep, scientific, and pluralistic reflection on major national problems, so they must be protected from partisan admiration and dislike, so we ask that you (…) The dismissal of Dr. Maria Elena Alvarez Boella Because of the poor results of his administration at the head of the Conacyt, and, in particular, for his authoritarian and far from legal position”, he provoked the academic community in commerce.
The demonstrators tried to hand the document to the Presidency of the Republic, but they knew that there was no one in the National Palace who could help them.
“We express our deep concern to you about the state of higher education and scientific research in Mexico. We see that in addition to the structural problems that we have experienced for many years, there is now an outright oppression of academic freedom, the inherited use of the resources of universities and research centers, and budgetary throttling for political purposes, in general,” she added. The official message published on Saturday “predominance of partisan interests over education.”
The end of the peaceful protest for decent education and freedom of science. A statement was read outside the National Palace – a delivery was attempted but no one was reported to receive it.
The political animal (Pajaropolitico) 4 June 2022
Other requests the protesters made to Lopez Obrador were for guarantees of university autonomy and academic freedom, to recognize the legitimacy of student organization in all educational centers in the country, and to issue instructions so that resources are allocated equitably, consistently. With the passage of time and agreement with the scientific and academic sector, this gives them an audience.
The academics stated: “(We ask you) to give us a hearing to reflect and formulate proposals in a dialogue way to advance the country’s path toward a cross-year project in educational and scientific matters.”
The protest was attended, in addition to leading members of the Center for Economic Research and Education (CIDE) community, by representatives of the University of Guadalajara (UdeG) and the Ibero-American University (UIA).
The band left the Palais des Beaux-Arts around 10:00 a.m. and advanced without any complications on May 5. Already in the capital’s Zocalo, protesters tried to pass through Moneda Street towards the UNAM Autonomous Palace, but were not allowed to enter either.
During the tour, participants chanted slogans such as “Alvarez Boella, science is not yours”, “Plagiarism will not be my boss”, “Pretend to rule and refuse to listen” and “More science, less obedience”.
This Saturday’s protest comes in the context of tensions at CIDE, as academics and students demand the appointment of Jose Antonio Romero Telaci as director. – which they consider an obligation – and accuses of unjustified dismissal. In addition, investigators from other institutions do not agree with Alvarez Boella’s behavior in Conasset, while the official refused to interview the dissatisfied sectors and even with lawmakers who invited her to meetings.
– AssemblyCIDE (@AsambleaCide) 4 June 2022
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