sábado, 18 de diciembre de 2010

Carta suscrita por 74 profesores universitarios al Secretario de Justicia de EEUU en torno a la situación de la UPR

December 16, 2010

Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General of the United States
The United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Mr. Holder:

As Puerto Rican scholars teaching in the United States we have decided to write to you in order to express our deep concern with regard to recent developments at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). For the past months, the University has experienced a continuing conflict that began last semester with a call for a strike by the students in response to an increase in academic tuition and related to fears about the future of public higher education on the island. Unfortunately, university administrators, professors, and students have not been able to negotiate a satisfactory agreement. The whole process has recently culminated in the intervention of Governor Luis Fortuño and the deployment of a massive police presence on the main university campus at Río Piedras and on other campuses in the system, including a private security contractor and fully armed SWAT units.

On December 13, Chancellor Ana R. Guadalupe banned all meetings, festivals, manifestations, and all other so-called large activities on the Río Piedras campus for a period of thirty days. In our view, this represents a clear breach of fundamental constitutional rights. The justifications given by the Chancellor are that this measure is required in order to keep the campus open and to return it to normal operations. Furthermore, professors and workers are being asked (under the threat of punishment) to continue working despite the intense volatility caused by the police presence on campus.

We remain very concerned that such use of force may in fact increase the potential for violence and continued tension, especially if the guarantees of freedom of speech, association, and assembly have been revoked. Both the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico guarantee these rights. Moreover, this week the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico (which, without the opportunity for serious public debate, was recently restructured by the government of Luis Fortuño in order to ensure a clear majority of judges in his favor) declared, in a disturbing resolution, that strikes will be prohibited at all UPR campuses effective immediately.

We the undersigned write to you as scholars and citizens because of the potentially lethal conditions that we have described and that prevail at the UPR. That is why we urge you to intervene in order to:

1. Guarantee the constitutional rights of freedom of speech, association, and assembly as stipulated by both constitutions and to see that the conflict is conducted under the strictest observation of human and civil rights for all parties involved.
2. Procure the immediate withdrawal of all state and city police, private contractors, and other non-UPR security personnel from the University of Puerto Rico system currently under occupation.
3. Call all parties to meet and have a truly productive dialogue.

Respectfully yours,

1) Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, The University of Chicago [Primary contact]
lugortiz@uchicago.edu

2) Ivette N. Hernández-Torres, University of California, Irvine [Primary contact]
ivetteh@uci.edu

3) Luis F. Avilés, University of California, Irvine [Primary contact]
laviles9631@sbcglobal.net

4) Aldo Lauria-Santiago, Rutgers University [Primary contact]
alauria@rci.rutgers.edu

5) Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones
Emory L. Ford Professor, Emeritus, Princeton University
adiaz@princeton.edu

6) Aníbal González-Pérez, Yale University
anibal.gonzalez@yale.edu

7) Luis Figueroa-Martínez, Trinity College
Treasurer, Puerto Rican Studies Association (PRSA)
Luis.Figueroa@trincoll.edu

8) Roberto Alejandro, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
ralejand@polsci.umass.edu

9) Harry Vélez-Quiñones, University of Puget Sound
velez@pugetsound.edu

10) Ismael García-Colón, College of Staten Island, CUNY
Ismael.Garcia@csi.cuny.edu

11) Áurea María Sotomayor-Miletti, University of Pittsburgh
aureamariastmr@yahoo.com

12) Antonio Lauria-Perricelli, New York University
al71@nyu.edu

13) Wanda Rivera Rivera, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Wanda.Rivera-Rivera@umb.edu

14) José Quiroga, Emory University
jquirog@emory.edu

15) Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
lawrlafo@yahoo.co.uk

16) Daniel Torres, Ohio University
torres@ohio.edu

17) Pablo Delano, Trinity College
Pablo.Delano@trincoll.edu

18) Denise Galarza Sepúlveda, Lafayette College
galarzad@lafayette.edu

19) Richard Rosa, Duke University
rr49@duke.edu

20) Eleuterio Santiago-Díaz, University of New Mexico
esantia@unm.edu

21) Ilia Rodríguez, University of New Mexico
ilia@unm.edu

22) Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, Northwestern University
r-rivera-servera@northwestern.edu

23) Gladys M. Jiménez-Muñoz, Binghamton University-SUNY
gjimenez@binghamton.edu

24) Luz-María Umpierre
Poet, Scholar, Human Rights Advocate
LUmpierre@aol.com

25) Sheila Candelario, Fairfield University
candelariosheila@hotmail.com

26) Edna Acosta-Belén, University at Albany, SUNY
eab@albany.edu

27) Efraín Barradas, University of Florida at Gainsville
barradas@LATAM.UFL.EDU

28) Kelvin Santiago-Valles, Binghamton University-SUNY
stgokel@binghamton.edu

29) Víctor Figueroa, Wayne State University
an7664@wayne.edu

30) Juan Duchesne Winter, University of Pittsburgh
juanduchesne@yahoo.com

31) Pablo A. Llerandi-Román, Grand Valley State University
llerandp@gvsu.edu

32) Irmary Reyes-Santos, University of Oregon
irmary@uoregon.edu

33) Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé, Fordham University
cruzmalave@fordham.edu

34) Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva, University of Washington
imrodrig@uw.edu

35) César A. Salgado, University of Texas, Austin
cslgd@mail.utexas.edu

36) Jossianna Arroyo, University of Texas, Austin
jarroyo@mail.utexas.edu

37) Francisco A. Scarano, University of Wisconsin, Madison
fscarano@wisc.edu

38) Jaime Rodríguez Matos, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
jaimerod@umich.edu

39) Cecilia Enjuto Rangel, University of Oregon
enjuto@uoregon.edu

40) Elpidio Laguna-Díaz, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
elplag@optonline.net

41) Lena Burgos-Lafuente, SUNY, Stony Brook
lenabu@nyu.edu

42) Ramón Grosfoguel, University of California, Berkeley
grosfogu@berkeley.edu

43) José Francisco Buscaglia Salgado, SUNY, Buffalo
Director of Program in Caribbean Studies
jfb2@buffalo.edu

44) Francisco Cabanillas, Bowling Green State University
fcabani@bgsu.edu

45) Lisa Sánchez González, University of Connecticut
lisa.m.sanchez@uconn.edu

46) María M. Carrión, Emory University
mcarrio@emory.edu

47) Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Director Institute for Research on Women
yolandatrabajo@optonline.net

48) Agustín Lao-Montes, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
oxunelegua@yahoo.com

49) Jason Cortés, Rutgers University-Newark
jasoncor@andromeda.rutgers.edu

50) Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Rutgers University
President, Caribbean Philosophical Association
nmtorres7@gmail.com

51) Daín Borges, The University of Chicago
dborges@uchicago.edu

52) Edna Rodríguez-Mangual, Hamilton College
emrodrig@hamilton.edu

53) Ricardo Pérez Figueroa, Eastern Connecticut State University
PerezR@easternct.edu

54) Licia Fiol-Matta, Lehman College, CUNY
lfiolmatta@earthlink.net

55) Frances R. Aparicio, University of Illinois at Chicago
franapar@uic.edu

56) Luis E. Zayas, Arizona State University
lezayas@asu.edu

57) Hortensia R. Morell, Temple University
hmorell@temple.edu

58) Milagros Denis-Rosario, Hunter College
mdenis@hunter.cuny.edu

59) Víctor Rodríguez, California State University, Long Beach
vrodrig5@csulb.edu

60) Madeline Troche-Rodríguez, City Colleges of Chicago
mtroche05@yahoo.com

61) Carmen R. Lugo-Lugo, Washington State University
clugo@wsu.edu

62) Jorge Luis Castillo, University of California, Santa Barbara
castillo@spanport.ucsb.edu

63) Rosa Elena Carrasquillo, College of the Holy Cross
rcarrasq@holycross.edu

64) Juan Carlos Rodríguez, The Georgia Institute of Technology
juan.rodriguez@modlangs.gatech.edu

65) Susana Peña, Bowling Green State University
susanap@bgsu.edu

66) José R. Cartagena-Calderón, Pomona College
Jose.Cartagena@pomona.edu

67) Amílcar Challu, Bowling Green State University
achallu@bgsu.edu

68) Carlos J. Alonso, Columbia University
calonso@columbia.edu

69) Carmen A. Rolón, Providence College
CROLON@providence.edu

70) Amy Robinson, Bowling Green State University
arobins@bgsu.edu

71) Consuelo Arias, Nassau Community College
ecarias@att.net

Puerto Rican Scholars in Canada Who Also Subscribe to this Letter

72) Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández, University of Toronto
rgaztambide@oise.utoronto.ca

73) Néstor E. Rodríguez, University of Toronto
nestor.rodriguez@utoronto.ca

74) Gustavo J. Bobonis, University of Toronto
gustavo.bobonis@utoronto.ca

cc: Thomas E. Pérez, Assistant Attorney General, United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

Luis Gutiérrez, Congressman, Illinois 4th District

Nydia Velázquez, Congresswoman, New York 12th District

José Serrano, Congressman, New York 16th District

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Luis Fortuño, Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in Washington

José Ramón de la Torre, President of the University of Puerto Rico

Ygrí Rivera de Martínez, President of the Board of Trustees (Junta de Síndicos), University of Puerto Rico

Ana R. Guadalupe, Chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus

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