Mexico, D.F. August 1, 2011
To the student and academic community of the Faculty of Arts,
National Autonomous University of Mexico
We, who sign this letter, are against all manifestations of violence within our university spaces, we also stand in solidarity with the students who dared to denounce the numerous assaults, academic harassment, and violence that the professor Arturo Noyola Robles exercised during his long career as a professor in the Faculty of Arts of the UNAM.
We believe it is necessary to protect the students from the possibility of future attacks from the aggressor, through the visibility of his behavior. This, because his violent acts have remained, until this day, in silence due to the fear generated by the professor in whom were attacked. In this regard, we appeal to the solidarity of students, teachers and workers to build university spaces free of violence against women in our Faculty, which is the cradle of humanism in the university.
On June 24 an intern in the career of Language and Literature Faculty of Arts of the UNAM read, during the session of the Technical Council of the Faculty, a letter of complaint about Arturo Noyola Robles, professor of the subject of nineteenth-century Mexican literature and researcher at the Institute of Bibliographic Research, IIB. The letter gives an account of abuse of power that Noyola has had by interfering with the process of obtaining her degree of the complainant, who has been the victim of academic harassment. Such use of power is only the tip of the iceberg that shows a small part of what the complainant has suffered by the professor Noyola. She also states in the letter that she had a dating relationship with the professor in which she was beaten , insulted and threatened. The case of this schoolmate is only one of many other cases of violence that Noyola has exercised against other female students.
We understand that Professor Arturo Noyola Robles has had the same aggressive behavior with at least five other colleagues, students of the Faculty. Recently, he hit another student with who he was having a dating relationship. We have also had communication with some of the women who have suffered violence from Arturo Noyola Robles and we know that he has kept this behavior over the years, but until now none of the attacked dared to denounce. Therefore, without denouncing, there has not been an appropriate action taken against this teacher who behaves like a predator stalking young women, being protected by the invisibility of gender violence in the university spaces.
Professor Noyola is safeguarded by his academic figure to offend, insult, assault and threaten students, and even coworkers of the Faculty. It is worth mentioning here that two of them also read their complaints to the Technical Council of the Faculty.
Given the above, we believe that this is not a personal matter or an isolated incident that only affects the people involved. It is a collective problem that concerns the entire student community and the authorities and academics of the UNAM and society as a whole. We view with concern the attitude of the university authorities, such as the Director of the Faculty, Dr. Gloria Villegas Moreno, and coordinator of the College of Hispanic Literature, Dr. Marcela Palma Basualdo, who ignore the violence against the university community and, therefore, are justifying the teacher’s behavior by considering it as part of a ‘personal matter’; they do not see that, for ethical reasons, a person like Mr. Arturo Noyola should not be in charge of teaching students. We believe that academic education goes beyond the classroom and, therefore, those in charge of this work must show a spirit of humanism, conducted under attitudes and values that enable students to build knowledge in a relational climate that ensures their safety and they also must be aware of the responsibility involved in their actions, both public and private, that influences and affects many people.
We can not allow a person who abuses his power as an academic to set up relationships with his female students repeatedly and then download his violence against them, to continue to exercise an educational work in our classrooms, or within any educational institute of the UNAM. We can not allow our University to become a place that tolerates this type of violent behavior that affect both pupils and students.
Given the seriousness of the facts and considering that this teacher acted without the academic ethics minimally required in our Maximum House of Studies, those who sign this public statement demand the expulsion of Arturo Noyola Robles both from the Faculty of Arts and the Bibliographic Research Institute, entities to which he is affiliated within the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
FOR DIGNITY AND JUSTICE WITHIN THE UNIVERSITY!
FOR THE PUNISHMENT OF MORAL AND PHYSICAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!
FOR A UNIVERSITY FREE FROM VIOLENCE!
BECAUSE WHAT IS PERSONAL IS POLITICAL!
SEX OFFENDERS OUT OF THE FACULTY OF ARTS!
FOR AN UNAM FREE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!
Students and professors at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
Feminist organizations “No están Solas”, “Alí somos todas” and “Grupo Interdisciplinario Feminista”.
Students at the Autonomous Metropolitan University.
Students and professors from the Autonomous University of Mexico City.
C.c.p. Dr. José Narro Robles .- Rector of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
C.c.p. Dr. Guadalupe Curiel Defossé .- Director of Bibliographic Research Institute.
C.c.p. Dr. Gloria Villegas Moreno .- Director of the Faculty of Arts.
C.c.p. Mr. Leoncio Lara Sáenz Rights Ombudsman .- University.
C.c.p. Héctor Felipe Fix Fierro .- Director of the Institute for Legal Research.
C.c.p. University Court and Commission of Honor of the UNAM.
C.c.p. Marcela Palma Basualdo .- Coordinator College of Hispanic Literature.
C.c.p. Human Rights Commission of Mexico City.
C.c.p. National Human Rights Commission.
Adherents ‘FOR AN UNAM FREE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN’
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Photograph of Arturo Noyola Robles: