Students and feminist organizations demanded the expulsion of teacher accused of abusing students at UNAM

The feminist organizations Ali somos todas (We are all Ali), No están solas (You are not alone) and the Grupo Interdisciplinario Feminista, (Feminist Interdisciplinary Group) demanded today (August 8 ) at the main Campus of the UNAM (Ciudad Universitaria) the expulsion of the professor Arturo Noyola Robles, who has been accused of sexually harassing, threatening and beating up female students of the degree in Hispanic Language and Literature of the Faculty of Arts of the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). The groups parted from the Che Guevara auditorium at 12:40 pm, marched through the corridors of the Faculty of Arts and offices of the Coordination of Hispanic Language and Literature, ending their journey at the front door of the Rectory building.

Dressed in black and their faces covered with purple bandanas and masks, the protesters held a banner with the slogans “Stop violence against women in the universities! Sex Offenders Out! Punishment for Arturo Noyola!” Along the way, they pasted posters containing the demand and the photograph of the acused teacher. Faced with unusual looks, compliments and surprised faces, the protesters walked in silence holding a speaker that emitted a recording of the reading of their public statement, broken up by pieces of recordings of phone calls where Arturo Noyola verbally assaulted the student who accused him last June 24.

Upon reaching the Coordination of Hispanic Language and Literature the group was received by Gabriel Linares, Head of Professional Studies of the Faculty, and Arturo Hernandez, Technical Secretary of this Coordination. A member of Alí somos todas and Graduate student of Anthropology at UNAM approached the men and spoke describing the lack of sensitivity the university authorities show in dealing with the circumstances of violence experienced by women within the University.

In response, Gabriel Linares said he knew of the case of the student who accused Arturo Noyola when she read her complaint to the Technical Board of the Faculty. As he informed, the Technical Board had agreed to suspend Mr. Noyola during the semester that began today. When asked if Noyola will return to teach after this period, he replied that it depends on the investigation process the University will do on his case. He noted that the student’s complaint was directed at other university authorities and they need to take the measures that concern them. Arturo Hernandez, meanwhile, said he will willingly register the student’s thesis and will assign her a female advisor.

In an interview, Víctor Hernán Lara Zavala, a professor of the degree of Hispanic Language and Literature, said he knew Arturo Noyola and found it difficult and delicate to make the accusation that the feminist groups sustained. He questioned the veracity of the accusation, but was in favor of an investigation of the guilt or innocence of the professor Noyola.

The complainant student accused Arturo Noyola to prevent her from attaining her degree for personal reasons since she held an intimate relationship with the professor, and incriminated Noyola of sexual and academic harassment, psychological violence and having beaten her on several occasions. She raised a legal demand against the professor at a Public Ministry in Coyoacán. In addition to reading her claim before the UNAM authorities on June 24, she delivered audiovisual material that support her testimony: all the emails that Arturo Noyola and she exchanged over a period of three years, several recordings of calls held on the telephone in which Noyola verbally assaulted the student, and photographs of the beating the professor of the UNAM gave her.

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