A student political group at the Uniersidad Nacional Experimental del Tachira called the Mechanical Engineering Students Association (AGEMEC), its alignment with Accion Democratica (AD) and opposition to Hugo Chavez, and treatment of its members by security forces due to its involvement in demonstrations in Caracas and other political action [VEN40853.E]

Information on the Mechanical Engineering Students Association (Agrupacion de Estudiantes de Ingenieria Mecanica, AGEMEC) found among the sources consulted is limited. The Tachira National Experimental University (Universidad Nacional Experimental del Tachira, UNET) is located in the city of San Cristobal, Tachira department (UNET 2003). The university Website describes AGEMEC as a student body established under the university's Dean of Student Development (Decanato de Desarrollo Estudiantil) to assist in the ethical and professional development of the faculty's students (UNET n.d.). Its goals reportedly include organizing events where faculty and university students can participate (such as visits to factories, conferences and forums), assist faculty students with material support, and provide counselling in all aspects of the career (ibid.). Although the Website indicates that the group has a general coordinator, it does not list the coordinator's name (ibid.). The current Website also states that the group has no dependent organizations (ibid.). However, a 2001 archived posting of UNET describes a student organization called VINTER, described as an apolitical, non-advocacy chapter of AGEMEC, formed in September 2000 with the goal of arranging a first "International Industrial Tour" (Gira Industrial Internacional) in 2001 (ibid. 2 Apr. 2001). The tour was to include 100 students of the faculty's 7th, 8th and 9th semesters, and visit a number of factories in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and England (ibid.).

No references to AGEMEC in the context of partisan or anti-Chavez politics could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Universidad Nacional Experimental del Tachira (UNET), San Cristobal. 2003. "Acerca de la Universidad: Ubicación." http://www.unet.edu.ve/acerca/ubic_mapa.htm [Accessed 9 June 2003]

_____. 2 April 2001. "Vinter: Principal." http://www.unet.edu.ve/~vinter/VINTER_ARCHI/vinter_archivos/Default.htm [Accessed 6 June 2003]

_____. n.d. Decanato de Desarrollo Estudiantil. "Agrupación de Estudiantes de Ingeniería Mecánica." http://www.unet.edu.ve/dependencia.php?id=59 [Accessed 6 June 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted


Country Reports 2000-2002. 2001-2003

Cronología Andina [Lima]. "Venezuela."

IRB Databases

Latin American Regional Reports: Andean Group [London].

Latinamerica Press [Lima].

Programa de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (PROVEA), Caracas. 2002. Informe Annual Octubre 2001-Septiembre 2002.

Internet sites and search engines, including:

Amnesty International

Human Rights Watch

El Nacional [Caracas]. Searchable archives

El Universal [Caracas]. Searchable archives

Vheadlines.com [Caracas]. Searchable archives