Honduran police have violently cracked down on a student protest in the capital Tegucigalpa, using tear gas and water cannons laced with chemicals to disperse the protesters.
Around 1,000 students from the National Autonomous University of Honduras, UNAH, blocked the main avenue Suyapa and access to the university to demand the resignation of university dean Julieta Castellanos and other officials.
The students are angry over the university’s decision to bring 30 students to trial for damaging university property in an earlier protest against changes to university standards.
The University Student Movement, MEU, organized the “Tuesday of Hoods” protest in defense of the students on trial, calling on protesters to protect their identity by using red or black masks.
Around 400 heavily-armed riot police arrived on the scene to clear the avenue, throwing tear gas and using a water cannon tank against the protesters.
The students responded by throwing rocks but were eventually forced to retreat.
Arturo Hernandez, a journalist for local newspaper La Tribuna was injured in the clashes. He said the students helped attend to his injuries.
“The MEU helped me, they took me away from the place so they couldn’t continue to beat me and they stopped the blood running from my head,” he told La Tribuna.
“If this happened to me, it could happen to anyone, “ he added.
The protest is the latest event in a crisis that has grappled the University of Honduras. Students have been protesting for two months, demanding UNAH drops charges against 20 fellow students, also accused of misappropriation of public goods, and dismiss the dean, Julieta Castellanos, over corruption allegations.