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Rector Vera Jiménez in his hospital bed Vera Jiménez in his hospital bed. el universal

Embattled rector declares hunger strike

University boss accused of embezzlement says more funds urgently needed

The head of the Autonomous University of Morelos began a hunger strike yesterday to pressure the federal government for more funds.

Alejandro Vera Jiménez, who also faces accusations of embezzlement, is camping out in a tent pitched outside the state Government Palace in Cuernavaca, where he and two associates have vowed to continue their protest until they hear directly from Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong.

Vera Jiménez has also taken a vow of silence to reinforce his demand for 526 million pesos, about US $26 million, which he says is urgently required if the university is to meet the next payroll for its 6,000 employees.

The tent has been furnished with two hospital beds and a couch for the three hunger strikers, whose health is being monitored by the director of the Faculty of Nutrition.

Last month, the Federal Auditors’ Office filed four criminal complaints against the university for irregularities in the spending of nearly 700 million pesos, while the state government has accused Vera Jiménez of embezzling 1.6 billion pesos.

The rector has responded by claiming the university needs about 2 billion pesos to continue to operate.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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