More Than 130 Academics Call for Charges to Be Dropped Against Student Protesters in Honduras

July 17, 2017

Lic. Julieta Castellanos
Rector of the Autonomous University of Honduras, UNAH
Blvd. Suyapa, Ciudad Universitaria, Tegucigalpa, MDC, Honduras

We, the undersigned faculty members urge you and the administration of UNAH to drop the charges against student protestors: Moisés David Cáceres Velásquez, Sergio Luis Ulloa Rivera y Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla, who were engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience to call attention to needed reforms that include student voice and participation on campuses across the nation.

We call for solidarity with students on a hunger strike, among their demands the following: to end criminalization and judicial processes against students and to conduct legitimate and fair student elections in the UNAH. We also understand that students are dissatisfied with the university leadership and are seeking a recall of the administration because of their failure to dialogue and for their top-down politics of criminalizing their own student body. Recently, the father of Andrés Gómez was killed after attending his son’s judicial hearing. We call for a full investigation and prosecution of those culpable for this murder.

Students are not our enemies, they are our future. The rising politics of terror facing student protesters in Honduras, where militarization of the various UNAH campuses throughout the nation is becoming a standard response by administration under your leadership, harkens back to the 1980s violence. Students are receiving death threats, persecution and surveillance for standing up for their rights. Your very own intellectual work on the 1980s argues against militarization because it is not an avenue for progress. We would add that militarization and criminalization of our youth are not fruitful to building participatory democracy.

As educators, we see the value of protest in helping students develop their own identity and voice and helping them develop into productive members of our society that seeks to build a participatory democracy, an aim for which Hondurans have been working since the 1980s.

Students’ rights to protest should be a protected form of expression, a rite of passage, a form of building an active citizenship and a voice around national and even world affairs. In and out of the classrooms, we must encourage students to be critical and dialogical members of society and not just passive receptacles of knowledge.

We hope that a fruitful dialogue can take place among you, university authorities and students, so that an effective, constructive and collaborative university reform, which includes student voices, may be achieved.

We urge you to drop the charges against the 27 students, including those named above, to dialogue and reach an agreement that can open up the classrooms, where all students feel reflected.

Sincerely the undersigned,

Richard Stahler-Sholk, PhD Eastern Michigan University

Piya Chatterjee PhD Scripps College

Mario Pecheny PhD Universidad de Buenos Aires

Paul Espinosa PhD Arizona State University

Leisy Abrego PhD UCLA

Kency Cornejo PhD University of New Mexico

Pablo Gonzalez PhD University of California Berkeley

Michelle Watts PhD University of Southern Mississippi

Aaron Pollack PhD Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS)-Sureste

Richard Grossman PhD Northeastern Illinois University

Marc Zimerman PhD Emeritus, U. of Houston, U. of Illinois at Chicago

Maria Mendez PhD University of Minnesota

Rodolfo Rosales PhD Retired from University of Texas of San Antonio

Suyapa Portillo PhD Pitzer College

Alfonso Gonzales PhD University of California Riverside

Leece Lee Oliver PhD California State University Fresno

Kimberly Drake PhD Scripps College

Jorge Ramon Gonzalez Ponciano PhD Stanford University

Katy Pinto PhD California State University Dominguez Hills

Aurelia Lorena Murga PhD The University of Texas at El Paso

Estela Ballon PhD California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Javier Arbona PhD University of California, Davis

Katherine Hoyt PhD Alliance for Global Justice

Victoria Sanford PhD Lehman College, City University of New York

Samantha Fox PhD Binghamton University

Elena Shih PhD Brown University

Lilian Davila PhD University of California Merced

Joanna Perez PhD California State University Dominguez Hills

Claudia Arteaga PhD Scripps College

Rosalyn Negron PhD UMass Boston

X. Bañales PhD California State University

Jih-Fei Cheng PhD Scripps College

Harry E. Vanden PhD University of South Florida

Laura J Enriquez PhD University of California at Berkeley

Eric Vázquez PhD Dickinson College

Hólmfríður Garðarsdóttir PhD Universidad de Islandia

Maria Socorro Tabuenca PhD-C The University of Texas at El Paso

Carla Gomes PhD-C Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Ariana Stickel PhD-C University of Arizona

Mara Aubel PhD University of Kansas

Molly Todd PhD Montana State University

Raquel I. Drovetta PhD CONICET-Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas

Ellie Walsh PhD GOVERNORS STATE UNIVERSITY

David Close PhD Memorial University of Newfoundland

Christopher Perreira PhD University of Kansas

Matthew J Countryman PhD University of Michigan

Edward Murphy PhD Michigan State University

Pite Rebekah PhD Lafayette College

Christopher Loperena MS University of San Francisco (USA)

José Rubio-Zepeda PhD University of Texas at Austin

Gloria Chacon PhD University of California San Diego

Sandra Haley PhD Brown University

Steven Osuna PhD California State University, Long Beach

Christine Wade PhD Washington College

Patricia Ornelas-Moya Otro California State University of Los Angeles

Griselda Martinez Otro California State University, Northridge

Dalesy Casasola PhD California State University Los Angeles

Joo Ok Kim MA University of Kansas

Bernabe Rodriguez PhD California State University Long Beach

Alicia Estrada PhD California State University, Northridge

Brenda Cruz MA California State University, Los Angeles

Olivia Jaffe-Pachuilo Otro San Diego State University

Tamara Favors PhD University of California Merced

Thelma Jiménez-Anglada PhD Lawrence University

Vernor Arguedas PhD Universidad de Costa Rica

K. Myers PhD C University of California, Merced

Beezer de Martelly PhD University of California, Berkeley

Carmen Caamaño PhD Universidad de Costa Rica

Rosemary L Lee Otro Retired

Emelyne Camacho Otro California State University Long Beach

Hector Fuentes MPA California State University, Northridge

Walter Abrego PhD Texas Tech University

Jorge Moraga MA California State University, Bakersfield

Rodolfo Rodriguez PhD University of California, Merced

Shannon Speed PhD UCLA

Adrienne Pine JD American University

Joseph Berra PhD University of California Los Angeles School of Law

Arely Zimmerman PhD Mills College

Ashley Lucas Otro University of Michigan

Christina Acosta PhD C University of California Merced

Amrah Salomon J. PhD C University of California, San Diego

Nalya Rodriguez PhD University of California Irvine

Guadalupe Bacio PhD Pomona College

Chris Zepeda-Millan MA University of California Berkeley

Fanny García PhD Columbia University

Mita Banerjee MA Pitzer College

Esmeralda Garcia PhD University of California Irvine

Munia Bhaumik PhD Emory University

Salvador Vidal-Ortiz MA American University

Tricia Morgan PhD Pitzer College

Genevieve Carpio PhD UCLA

Sylvanna Falcón PhD University of California, Santa Cruz

Patricia Zavella PhD University of California

Beatriz Cruz Sotomayor Otro Universidad del Turabo

Alessandra Alvares PhD University of California Santa Cruz

Amalia Pallares PhD University of Illinois at Chicago

Mary Delgado Garcia PhD Scripps College

Ernesto Martinez Otro University of Oregon

Alvaro Huerta PhD California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Cristina Serna PhD Colgate University

Shannon Gleeson Otro Cornell University

Kim YuneHie PhD UC Berkeley

Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval MS UC Santa Barbara

Karma R. Chávez PhD University of Texas at Austin

Victor Silverman PhD Pomona College

Maria Cristina Morales PhD-C University of Texas at El Paso

Gabriela Arguedas Otro Universidad de Costa Rica

Andrea Gonzalez Otro California State University Long Beach

Hao Huang PhD Scripps College

Marta Bustillo PhD Universidad de Puerto Rico

Adriana Garriga-Lopez PhD Kalamazoo College

Mónica Moreno Figueroa PhD University of Cambridge

Joan Simalchik PhD University of Toronto Mississauga

Kemy Oyarzún PhD Universidad de Chile

Joel Mercado-Diaz PhD The University of Chicago

Stacey Schlau PhD West Chester University

Elizabeth Maier PhD Colegio de la Frontera Norte

Maria Amelia Viteri PhD USFQ

Jack Spence PhD University of Massachusetts Boston

Karina Oliva Alvarado PhD UCLA

Heather Vrana PhD University of Florida

Emilie Bergmann PhD University of California, Berkeley

Liv Sovik PhD Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Hillary Hiner PhD Universidad Diego Portales

Rosalind Bresnahan PhD California State University

Miguel Tinker Salas PhD Pomona College

Sonia Ticas PhD Linfield College

Dan Beeton Otro Center for Economic and Policy Research

Clara E. Irazábal-Zurita, PhD University of Missouri – Kansas City

Genevieve Negron-Gonzales, PhD, University of San Francisco

Enrique Ochoa, PhD California State University, Los Angeles