The situation at the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras continues to deteriorate. Today, during a “pintata,” or spontaneous demonstration by the students in which they painted slogans outside one of the libraries, the riot police force, which has been occupying the campus since December, began videotaping students involved in the pintata. Apparently when the students began objecting to the videotaping, the riot police began using pepper gas on them, and an all-out melee began. As you can see in the video, various students were violently arrested sometimes using forms of hog-tying and pressure point manipulation designed to cause pain. These tactics have been used for several weeks on students who were using classic non-violent resistance. Today the APPU, a union of UPR professors, announced that there would be a 24-hour strike demanding the removal of the riot police force, but this afternoon the president of the UPR, José Ramón de la Torre insisted the force would stay. The riot police have been on campus to enforce a ban on on-campus demonstrations that is of dubious legality.
Meanwhile, even the mainstream El Nuevo Día published a story today about a declaration made by the PPD, the opposition party that a speech made by Governor Luis Fortuño about the colony’s economic recovery was riddled with lies, 40 to be exact. Among the lies the statement referred to were a statement that the government had reduced its annual expenditures and had created 130,000 new jobs. “This demonstrates that Fortuño has no credibility,” said the statement. “His credibility is bankrupt.”
Demonstrations on campus continue right now.