Category Archives: Academia

Stunning news from Japan: An academic purge

First, a cartoon from the Japan Times:


And now for the story. . .

In parallel with  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government’s vote to abandon Japan’s 70-year-long ban on waging war overseas, Japan’s universities are closing their social science and humanities departments — long the bastions of resistance to the military aspirations of successive national governments.

From the ICEF Monitor:

A recent survey of Japanese university presidents found that 26 of 60 national universities with social science and humanities programmes intend to close those departments during the 2016 academic year or after. The closures are a direct response to an extraordinary request from the Japanese government that the universities take “active steps to abolish [social science and humanities departments] or to convert them to serve areas that better meet society’s needs.”

The government’s position was set out in an 8 June 2015 letter sent by Minister of Education Hakubun Shimomura to all national universities and higher education organisations in the country. In it, Minister Shimomura argued that the move was necessary “in the light of the decrease of the university-age population, the demand for human resources and…the function of national universities.”

The Minister also made it clear to the universities that the government’s ongoing financial support for each university depended on their response. “There was a clear ‘or else’ behind the demand,” wrote journalist and educator Kevin Rafferty in the South China Morning Post, “or else you won’t get money.”


Higher education policy in Japan is now reportedly determined via the President’s Council on Industrial Competitiveness, a special body composed of government ministers, business executives, and (two) academics. And it appears that the Minister’s June letter to universities emerged from deliberations within that group and, more fundamentally, from the President’s conviction that Japan’s higher education institutions should be more directly focused on the country’s labour market needs.

In other words, given the choice between an soldiers and a workforce to keep them in arms and the cultivation of an informed electorate, Abe has opted for the way of the gun.

Oddly, even during World War II — which could be dated to \Japan’s invasion of China — humanities and social sciences remained on the course schedule of the island nation’s institutions of higher learning, notes Takamitsu Sawa, president of Shiga University, in an essay for the Japan Times. But things didn’t go well for students majoring in human studies:

During World War II, students of the natural sciences and engineering at high schools and universities were exempt from conscription and only those who were studying the humanities and social sciences were drafted into military service.

And Abe’s move fulfills the wishes of another post-war government, Sawa writes:

In March 1960, the education minister in Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi’s Cabinet said that all departments of the humanities and social sciences at national universities should be abolished so that those schools would concentrate on the natural sciences and engineering. He also said that education in the humanities and social sciences should be placed in the hands of private universities.

One could argue that the real justification of studying the humanities and social sciences is the development of a culture that will strive for peace through the cultivation of a deeper understandings of the wellsprings of the human condition.

By opting for the way of the gun, Abe is forgetting the maxim set forth by tht ardent student of the humanities, George Santayana, set forth in The Life of Reason:

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

MexicoWatch: Conflict, college, crime, & cartels

We begin with the conflict, in a followup to a report cited in yesterday’s MexicoWatch, via teleSUR English:

Argentina forensic team questions Mexican gov’t version

Program notes:

The independent Argentine forensic team investigating the scientific evidence in the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students issued a statement taking issue with the Mexican government’s claim that no doubts remain that the youth were killed and their bodies incinerated. The forensic team’s arguments on the irregularities in the government investigation have given new hope to the family members of the missing students. Clayton Conn reports from Mexico City.

From the Latin American Herald Tribune, the inevitable response:

Mexican Prosecutors Rip Argentine Specialists in Missing Students Case

The Attorney General’s Office on Monday criticized the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, or EAAF, for raising doubts about the investigation into the disappearance of 43 education students in southern Mexico last year.

The investigation is being conducted “with transparency and professionalism,” the AG’s office said in a long statement.

The EAAF said numerous irregularities had been found during the investigation with federal prosecutors into the disappearance of 43 education students last September in the southern state of Guerrero.

From teleSUR, reasonable concerns:

Families of Ayotzinapa Students Worried for Argentine Experts

  • A group of foreign forensic anthropologists has highly criticized the state’s investigations into the missing students.

The families of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students said they stand behind the recent revelation by Argentine experts who called the state’s investigations into the case slanted, and asked for extra security for the group of foreign experts.

In a press conference Monday, Felipe de la Cruz, the spokesperson for the families, said the experts need extra protection “because we know that when things do not go as the government wants them to, they retaliate.”

The team of 30 foreign experts was hired as an independent party on behalf of the students’ parents who did not trust Mexican officials to carry out the investigation on their own.

The Latin American Herald Tribune covers a crisis and a shutdown at yet another college:

Mexican University Closes Down Due to Gang Threats

The campus of the Universidad Valle De Mexico, UVM, in Nuevo Laredo in the north-eastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas has closed, weeks after it announced the suspension of on-campus activities due to gang threats of extortion, kidnapping and attacks.

“From today onwards, we will be communicating with each of our students to let them know the alternatives that we offer them to continue their studies,” said the university in a Facebook post on Monday.

It further said that the UVM “has 36 campuses throughout the country and a solid platform of online degrees,” which makes it confident that each of its students “will find an alternative to suit their needs.”

From teleSUR, sad confirmation:

Kidnappings, Murders Continue in Guerrero State, Mexico

  • The population of the state of Guerrero, rewnowned for the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, continues to face violence.

An armed group murdered five people and kidnapped three others in the town of San Geronimo Palantla, district of Chilapa, reported Proceso on Monday.

On Sunday at 10 p.m., armed people traveling in six vans attacked the police station and killed four inside, hurt others, and kidnapped three more. Three hours beforehand, two indigenous people, accompanied by various residents, had filed a complaint about the kidnapping of their husbands by armed civilians coming from Rincon de Chautla; the commissioner told them then that their husbands will be shortly released, but a couple of hours later the same armed civilians attacked the place, shot at the people inside, and returned to Rincon de Chautla with three hostages.

The district of Chilapa is known for heroine and marijuana production, as well as violent confrontations between local criminal gangs, the Rojos and Ardillos, led by the family of the president of the state congress, Bernardo Ortega Jimenez of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), according to Proceso.

Additionally, the armed group allegedly went back to San Geronimo in order to drop off the corpse of another victim; it also left one woman injured.

From China’s Global Times, a Chinese response to an act that was soon followed by a really good deal on a mansion for the president’s spouse:

Chinese firm files for compensation over suspended Mexico rail project

The China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) has filed for compensation following the suspension of a high-speed rail project it won in a bidding in Mexico, Mexican media reported on Monday.

The firm submitted the relevant paperwork “at the end of January,” confirmed Pablo Suarez Coello, director-general of rail transport at the Communications and Transportation Ministry, according to Mexico’s state news agency Notimex.

Suarez made the remarks when interviewed by reporters at the inauguration of Expo-Rail 2015, being held in the Caribbean resort of Cancun by the Mexican Association of Railroads.

Mexican officials have yet to negotiate such compensation with the Chinese firm, said Suarez.

From Latin American Herald Tribune, where the bodies aren’t buried:

Mexicans Say It Will Take Weeks to ID Bodies Left at Crematorium

The preliminary identification of 60 embalmed bodies discovered at a shuttered crematorium in the resort city of Acapulco will require at least three weeks, the attorney general of the southern Mexican state of Guerrero said Monday.

Authorities will need “around 20 days at a minimum,” Miguel Angel Godinez told MVS radio.

He said investigators have found no evidence conflicting with their hypothesis that the bodies were simply left behind by the crematorium’s operators when they abandoned the failed firm.

And to close, another protest image from Mexico, via Valkiria_VK, featuring images of the missing:

BLOG Ayotz

Chart of the day: A case of ivy-covered plutocracy

From Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States: 45 Year Trend Report [PDF], a new report from the Pell Institute and the University of
Pennsylvania Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy:


Coral reefs in peril; A concern for all of us

Though they occupy only a relatively small part of the planet, coral reefs represent once of the most diverse of all ecological systems.

And they’re also very much in peril, both from what humans pour into the atmosphere and the water, explains Jennifer Smith, a coral reef ecologist and Associate Professor Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.

In addition to bleaching caused by acidified seawater, the reefs are also endangered by rapacious fishing methods that both damage the coral and destroy large populations of critical marine animals.

From University of California Television:

Coral Reef Ecosystems: Human Impacts Pristine Reefs and Conservation Strategies

Program notes:

Understanding how humans impact marine ecosystems is crucial to developing successful conservation strategies that protect the health of our ocean. Discover how Scripps marine ecologist Jennifer Smith and her team are conducting research relevant to solving human-induced problems in environments ranging from coral reefs to the waters off our shores. Series: “Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Science Lecture Series” [1/2015]

EbolaWatch: Reflections, prayers, and fears

We begin with a video report from FrontPageAfrica in Monrovia:


Program notes:

At watch night church services across Liberia, many recall tough year and look forward to a better one in 2015.

France 24 offers a year-ender:

Ebola ‘still spreading’ as cases top 20,000 at year’s end

The Ebola virus is still spreading in West Africa and notably in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization warned on Wednesday, adding that the death toll from the epidemic at year’s end stood at 7,905 out of 20,206 cases.

Sierra Leone has reported 337 new cases in the past week, including 149 in Freetown – the highest incidence reported in the capital in four weeks, the WHO said in its last weekly update of 2014.

Sierra Leone earlier this month banned public Christmas celebrations as the caseload of Ebola infections continued to spread alarm. Soldiers were deployed to force people who ventured onto the streets back indoors.

“We will ensure that everybody remains at home to reflect on Ebola,” said Palo Conteh, head of the country’s Ebola response department, in comments to reporters.

Another year-ender, this one from the Los Angeles Times:

Efforts to stop Ebola are gaining ground, but the fight isn’t won

The plague erupted deep in the forests of West Africa, sweeping through isolated villages and teeming cities before reaching across oceans to Europe and the United States.

Previous Ebola outbreaks have felled hundreds of people. But health officials report that this year’s epidemic has already sickened nearly 20,000 and killed about 7,700 of them, more than all other known occurrences combined.

As 2015 approaches, there is reason to hope that what at first was a plodding international response is finally catching up with the virus. In Liberia, where just a few months ago bodies were left in the streets for days and patients were turned away from treatment facilities because there weren’t enough beds or personnel, the number of cases has been dropping rapidly. There are also signs that the disease may be slowing in Sierra Leone, which has overtaken Liberia as the country with the biggest caseload.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters Monday that he was hopeful about stopping the epidemic but cautioned, “This is going to be a long, hard fight.”

On to Sierra Leone with StarAfrica:

UN Ebola mission chief bids farewell to Sierra Leonean leader

Mr. Anthony Banbury, the head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), on Wednesday bade farewell to Sierra Leone`s President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Banbury was appointed Deputy Ebola Coordinator and Operation Crisis Manager by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in September 2014. That made him second to Dr. David Nabarro, Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola. Together, the two were to work closely with the WHO in managing the UN`s overall response to the Ebola crisis.

Specifically, Banbury was charged with coordinating the operational work of the UN System, Member States, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders under a single platform.

He was charged with ensuring the operationalisation of the UN’s overall response plan, working closely with the various response actors in the region, under the UNMEER.

Reuters covers desperate measures:

Sierra Leone’s president calls for week of fasting, prayer over Ebola

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma asked the country to begin a week of fasting and prayers on Thursday to end the Ebola virus that has killed more than 2,700 of his countrymen.

The worst outbreak on record of the virus is still spreading in West Africa, especially in Sierra Leone, and the number of known cases globally has exceeded 20,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

In a New Year’s Day broadcast, Koroma said the seven days of prayers and fasting would begin immediately. “Today I ask all to commit our actions to the grace, mercy and protection of God Almighty,” he said.

On to Liberia, and official anxiety via the News in Monrovia:

MCC Boss Fears New Ebola Outbreak

…In Monrovia

Monrovia City Mayor Clara Doe-Mvogo has expressed fears of new Ebola outbreak in Monrovia considering the behavior of the people.

She observed that preventive measures practiced during the height of the Ebola outbreak have been abandoned. She also said people are now shaking hands and hugging especially in Churches against the advice of health authorities.

Mvogo said people are now living in Monrovia as if there is no more Ebola in Liberia, something she said needs urgent attention. She warned that if the trend continues, there could be huge outbreak of the virus in Monrovia.

Madam Mvogo spoke Tuesday at the opening of a daylong Ebola Virus Disease training for community leaders from the cities of Monrovia and Paynesville.

And to close, on to the Gambia and a struggle against collateral damage from the Daily Observer in Banjul:

‘Gambia opens for business, not affected by Ebola’

An international consultant in Tourism and International Development at the University of Brighton, UK has described tourism ‘as an important component of The Gambian economy that plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of the country.’

These remarks of Dr Marina Novelli, who has been visiting The Gambia for over eight years, were published in the United Kingdom based ‘The Conversation’ magazine.

Tourism in The Gambia contributes between 12 to16 % to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provides employment for more than 100, 000 people – direct and indirect.

Dr Marina Novelli, who was in The Gambia with three of her colleagues; 38 students and one alumnus, working on tourism and sport capacity building projects, said “The Gambia is open for business and it is not affected by the Ebola outbreak – otherwise we would not be here.”

Map of the day: It’s simply fan-tastic

From the New York Times, a look at college football fan concentrations in the San Francisco Bay area, where local school fans concentrate around the cities where the schools are located [Cal being the University of California at Berkeley], and surrounded by a sea of green, representing the University of Oregon, whose fans dominate Northern California [who knew]:


The Times story in which the interactive maps of fandom across the country focus on the huge amounts of money in today’s college football, along with the shift of emphasis in college sports from being a program devoted to developing bodies and character into a form of big business, in which athletes are no longer there to be shaped into scholars but as revenue-generating pawns for whom education counts little.

From the article:

After taking a sociology exam, Cardale Jones, a quarterback at Ohio State, posted a message on Twitter that echoed across college sports: “Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS.”

Two years after publishing that provocative statement, Jones will be the starting quarterback on Thursday against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, the second semifinal game of college football’s new playoff system — and his words have renewed relevance. Never has the sport been so awash in money, a growth industry on campuses that some observers believe increasingly resembles professional football more than higher education.

In some ways, even the N.F.L., that $10-billion-a-year enterprise, might be struggling to compete. The University of Michigan on Tuesday introduced its new coach, Jim Harbaugh, who left the N.F.L.’s San Francisco 49ers to join the Wolverines. His base salary — $5 million annually for seven years with 10 percent increases after three and five years — will eventually amount to more than what he was earning in the N.F.L.

MexicoWatch: Corruption, protest, disappointment

We begin with a teleSUR English report on one of the missing 43:

They took Luis Ángel Arzola alive, we want him back alive

Program notes:

Lorenzo Francisco Gálvez talks about his son, Luis Ángel Francisco Arzola, who is one of the 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teacher Training College who were kidnapped in Iguala on September 26 and not seen since.

From the Guardian, a report about the day’s blockbuster story:

Mexico authorities ‘knew about attack on students as it happened’

  • Leaked government documents say federal officials did nothing to stop disappearance and probable massacre of missing 43

Mexican federal authorities had real-time information of an attack on a group of student teachers by corrupt local police, but did nothing to stop the disappearance and probable massacre of 43 people, according to new evidence published by the news magazine Proceso.

Based on leaked government documents, the new allegations are likely to further fuel public anger at the government of the president, Enrique Peña Nieto, which has insisted that federal authorities share no responsibility for the students’ disappearance.

The documents include a detailed record of the student’s movements made by a government information command post – known as a C4 – as the group left their college in Ayotzinapa in the town of Tixtla.

Anabel Hernández, one of the report’s authors, told MCS Noticias radio station: “When we see that the federal government and the state government were following the students since they left the college in Ayotzinapa, it becomes very difficult to think that everything else that happened was an accident.”

The story was assembled with the help of the UC Berkeley journalism school for the Mexican magazine Proceso.

We know one of the authors, Steve Fisher, who has done excellent reporting on environmental issues. And here how teleSUR describes co-author Anabel Hernández in a must-read interview with the reporters:

The ever-passionate and expressive Hernandez is no stranger to explosive investigations and allegations, so much so that her home was raided by official authorities late last year. The award-winning and internationally-acclaimed journalist has also been subjected to harrowing, threatening acts, such as having found animal body parts at the doorstep of her home.

Now for the Proceso story, via a Borderland Beat translation:

Iguala: Unofficial history

Federal forces participated in the attack against the students at the normal Ayotzinapa the night of September 26 in Iguala, Guerrero, during which died three teacher training and 43 went missing in a succession of facts that was known in real time by the federal government.

A study done with the support of the Journalism Program of Research from the University of California at Berkeley on the basis of testimonies, videos, unpublished reports and judicial statements shows that the Federal Police (PF) participated actively and were directly involved in the attack.

Even more, according to information obtained by the normal process of Ayotzinapa, the attack and disappearance of the students was directed specifically to the ideological structure and governance of the institution, because one of the 43 missing  was part of the Committee on student Struggle, the highest governing body of the school and 10 were “political activists in training” of the committee of political and ideological orientation (COPI).

Until now the official version is that the then mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, ordered the aggression, concerned about the possibility that students interrupted the report on the activities of his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, President of the municipal DIF.

According to this version, municipal police of Iguala and the neighboring municipality of Cocula attacked and captured the students, while members of Guerreros Unidos killed the missing and burned their corpses. with the ignorance of the federal agents and soldiers stationed in the area.

And there’s a video of confrontations and one of the first shootings in Iguala, with another cell phone visible and recording as well, via Proceso:

Iguala: The Unofficial History

Program notes:

Audiovideos captured by witnesses to the attack on Ayotzinapa students.

Next, a damning admission, via teleSUR:

Federal Police Claim They Knew but Didn’t Participate in Iguala

A high ranking federal police officer agreed that the Ayotzinapa students were under surveillance, but denied that agents participated actively in the events of September 26, meaning the government has been hiding information for over two months.

Enrique Galindo, general commissioner of Mexico’s Federal Police, accepted on Monday that the organization knew about the attack on Ayotzinapa Teacher Training School students on September 26. However, he denied that federal officers were among the ones attacking and eventually abducting students in the southern state of Guerrero.

“Federal Police do not intervene, there’s no clear evidence of their active participation in the incidents … that truck [apparently a federal police truck, seen in a video shown by Proceso magazine] it’s not a federal police truck.”

“We did know about that day’s demonstrations because they [the students] came by bus. Our jurisdiction only applies to federal roads. The federal officers did go after the call for help, to respond to the violent acts against the soccer team, but we didn’t act at all in the city,” declared the official yesterday during an interview.

And from Eric J. Garcia’s El Machete Illustrated, a graphic response:

U.S. helping drug war

U.S. helping drug war

Followed by the inevitable poster protection, covered in a subsequent teleSUR story:

Mexico Government Denies Federal Involvement in Ayotzinapa Case

  • Attorney General Jesus Murillo said he has no evidence of Federal Police participating in the attack against the students.

Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo denied this Tuesday news reports suggesting involvement of federal police forces in the attack against the Ayotzinapa students in Iguala, Guerrero on Sept. 26, when three of them were killed and 43 others forcibly disappeared.

“Is absolutely not true that the Federal Police participated, there are many statements that have no foundation,” said Murillo in an interview with Mexican broadcaster MVS.

Murillo said that even when the Federal Police knew about the moves of the students that does not imply that it participated in the attack.

“I do not have the evidence that they claim to have. I do not know where that evidence comes from. If they have it I hope they hand it to me for analyzing it.” said Murillo in another interview with Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui.

Reuters covers a disappointing development:

Austrian experts may need months to identify murdered Mexican students

Austrian forensics experts who helped solve the mystery of Russia’s murdered imperial family identified one student earlier this month using samples sent to Innsbruck’s Medical University.

The remaining samples, however, are in such a bad state that even time-consuming specialist analysis, focusing on so-called mitochondrial DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), might take months, if it yields any good data at all.

“We hope for results in the next two to three months,” molecular biologist Walther Parson, a leading expert at Innsbruck Medical University’s forensics institute, who is working on the Mexican case, said.

“The chances for useful results even with mitochondrial DNA are very slim, but we will try everything to create more potential DNA profiles.”

The Guardian covers police suppression:

Mexican police clash with protesters at site of concert for missing students

  • Injuries to 21 people reported and cars burned near venue of solidarity concert for 43 students missing since September

Clashes between federal police and protesters organising a concert in solidarity with 43 missing college students left at least 21 people injured and several cars in flames on Sunday in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero.

A police official said eight officers were injured, including five who were run over by a vehicle. Three others were said to have been beaten by protesting teachers, leaving one officer with “severe brain damage”. The official was not authorised to talk to the press and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Tlachinollan human rights group, which supports the relatives of the missing students, said the violence left at least 13 people injured, including students, teachers, parents of the missing students and two journalists, including a photographer who was working with Associated Press.

From teleSUR, the response from those who matter the most:

Relatives of Missing 43 Suspend Dialogue with Mexican Gov’t

  • Victims claim that the federal government is carrying out a strategy of provocation to orchestrate a violent end to the mass protests.

Claiming the government has been taunting the relatives of the missing 43, their lawyer announced the temporary suspension of the dialogue with federal officials on Tuesday.

“Right now we suspend the talks with the federal government because of all the things that have been happening,” said Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer of the missing 43 relatives.

However, Rosales also noted that the parents are willing to receive information from the government in order to find out what really happened to their sons.

The teleSUR English video report:

Mexico: government charged with seeking to criminalize protests

Program notes:

Family members of the 42 missing Ayotzinapa Teachers Training College students and human rights lawyers charged that Sunday’s confrontation with federal police at a concert in Chilpancingo, Guerrero was a provocation designed to criminalize the growing protest movement in Mexico. Meanwhile, there is mounting pressure on the Federal Attorney General’s Office to explain the role of the federal police and the military in the killing and kidnapping of the Ayotzinapa students as reported by the weekly magazine Proceso and contrary to the government line that only municipal police were involved. Clayton Conn reports from Mexico City.

From the Latin American Herald Tribune, vigilantes return:

Armed Civilians Block Roads in Western Mexico to Press for Cartel Crackdown

Hundreds of armed civilians blocked highways over the weekend in nine of the 113 cities in the western Mexican state of Michoacan to pressure the federal government to arrest Caballeros Templarios drug cartel members.

The civilians, who were armed with assault rifles and pistols, used buses, trucks and pick-up trucks, to block the roads on Sunday.

The protesters unfurled banners that called for the arrest of Servando Gomez Martinez, the cartel’s leader.

The demonstrators also called for the arrest of Sergio Huerta Tena, a close associate of Gomez Martinez, and Ignacio Andrade Renteria, a former associate of the drug lord.

And from teleSUR, the battle to keep military murder under wraps:

Mexico: Tlatlaya Massacre Witnesses Released

  • Orders are given for two women who witnessed a massacre of 22 presumed criminals by the Mexican army to be released.

A federal judge ordered the immediate release on Monday of two women who were arrested by the Mexican army in June this year, witnesses to the mass execution of 22 presumed organized crime members by the army in a warehouse in the town of Tlatlaya, State of Mexico.

The Fourth District Court in the State of Mexico ordered the dismissal of the criminal charges of illegal possession of firearms and cartridges for the exclusive use of the military.

The two women remain detained in the Women’s Federal Social Rehabilitation Center in Tepic, Nayarit.

And a story that should inspire students at the University of California, via teleSUR:

Mexican University Resumes Classes after 76-Day Student Strike

  • Students returned to classes Monday after fighting against proposed reforms for more than two months.

About 12,000 students from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) resumed classes Monday, ending a 76-day student strike against changes to the curriculum and other major reforms.

The IPN´s 40,000 students and nearly 4,000 employees resumed their normal academic activities, starting with the medicine and health science colleges, while the engineering department will commence classes on Jan. 7.

The students have demanded that federal government and IPN authorities suspend changes to the curriculum because they would lower the quality of education. Students also called for the removal of IPN’s dean, Yoloxochitl Bustamante.

Tens of thousands of undergraduates took to the streets, and by October they achieved these two demands. However, realizing the strength of their movement, the students called for further changes and proposed to hold negotiations with the government.

Finally, a graphic from Vancouver, British Columbia photographer Paulo Noe Mariles of a demonstration of solidarity at the Vancouver Art Gallery:

bLOG Ayotzinapa