— OverpassLightBrigade (@OLBLightBrigade) June 25, 2016
In the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, a deadly police crackdown against teachers has left nine people dead and more than 100 wounded. On Sunday, police descended on teachers in the community of Nochixtlán, where they had set up blockades to protest against neoliberal education reform and the arrests of two teachers’ union leaders last week on what protesters say are trumped-up charges. “As soon as they arrived, they began to attack. And we were few, very few,” said a Oaxacan teacher. “Then we started running. But they began to attack right away, instantly. At no time did they give warning to clear the area.” We go to Oaxaca to speak with Gustavo Esteva, founder of the Universidad de la Tierra in Oaxaca and author of many books, including “New Forms of Revolution.”
Mexico City Protests Oaxaca Deaths and Education Reforms https://t.co/WCulNGAi3H
— allan crawshaw (@allan_crawshaw) June 25, 2016
Mexican authorities and protesters on Monday traded accusations of responsibility for weekend clashes that left at least six people dead and more than 100 wounded in the restive southern state of Oaxaca.
Federal Police Chief Enrique Galindo, speaking on local Radio Formula, said few teachers were involved in the violence and attributed it to other, unspecified “radical groups.”
However the radical teachers’ union involved in the protests denied that and alleged that police infiltrators were to blame.
The clashes are the latest flashpoint in an ongoing battle for control of public education in Oaxaca, where the union is vehemently resisting government attempts to implement national education reforms passed under President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Galindo said things initially went smoothly Sunday when officers moved to reopen the highway around 7 a.m. after it had been blocked by protesters. Traffic flow resumed for about two hours following dialogue between unarmed police and demonstrators from the National Coordinator of Education Workers, or CNTE.
But later the crowd swelled to about 2,000 protesters, some of them armed with gasoline bombs and powerful fireworks, Galindo added. When police confirmed gunshots, he ordered armed police to move in.
“It was a radical change of scene,” Galindo said. “It was practically an ambush.”
He reported that seven officers suffered bullet wounds, others had serious burns on their hands and feet and some lost fingers.
Six people were killed and more than 100 were wounded before police pulled back, he said, adding that “staying in Nochixtlan would have brought more serious consequences.”
Just back from Oaxaca. The power of resistance on full display.
— Manuel Paul López (@mplopez75) June 25, 2016
— Mic (@mic) June 25, 2016
The Mexican government’s deadly crackdown on a teacher’s union protest has rattled the nation in recent days, as 200,000 doctors on Wednesday joined the ongoing national strike against President Enrique Peña Nieto’s neoliberal reforms.
Anti-government sentiment is mounting after police forces opened fire on a teacher protest in Oaxaca on Sunday, killing at least eight.
Since then, two high level government officials from that state, Oaxaca Minister of Indigenous Affairs Adelfo Regino Montes and Secretary of Labor Daniel Gutierrez, have resigned in protest of the “authoritarian actions that repress and kill Oaxacan people who defend their rights and the government’s negligence to any possibility of dialogue,” as Gutierrez put it.
On Wednesday, members of the medical organization Yo Soy Medico 17 from 32 states joined the ongoing strike, stating their opposition to Peña Nieto’s health reforms, which they say are a “disguised way of privatizing health in Mexico,” according to TeleSUR.
Further, the group —which translates to “I’m a Doctor”—has vocally condemned the killings and what they describe as intimidation and repression by authorities and organized crime. “According to doctors,” TeleSUR explains, “as violence has increased in Mexico they have suffered the consequences of crimes like kidnappings, enforced disappearances and killings that have gone unpunished by authorities.”
The dissident Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE) teacher’s union—which largely represents educators in Mexico’s predominantly rural and Indigenous southern states—has been staging dramatic demonstrations and road blockades against new mandated teacher evaluations, which they say ignore the challenges of their region while enabling mass layoffs.
These protests have been met with violent government repression, including the recent arrest of two of the union’s leaders. But members explain that the government’s opposition to the teacher’s union runs far deeper.
— Joseph Brusky (@JosephBrusky) June 25, 2016
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) June 25, 2016
Doctors’ leaders have condemned the killing of at least eight people during a teacher’s protest last Sunday in the state of Oaxaca.
As protests led by the militant CNTE teachers’ union in Mexico continue, the country’s doctors are set to join in the job action, calling for a national strike on June 22 to protest a neoliberal reform to the health system imposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto.
The group #YoSoyMedico17, which is comprised of doctors, pediatricians, surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, has been joined by more than 200,000 physicians from 32 states in opposing the so-called Universal Health System reform by Peña Nieto. The medical professionals say the measure is a “disguised way of privatizing health in Mexico,” and said doctors were not consulted on the reform, according to Animal Politico.
The doctors’ protest will join the ongoing national general strike by teachers.
Doctor’s also condemned the killing of at least eight people during a teachers’ protest last Sunday in the state of Oaxaca, and denounced what they call intimidation and repression by authorities, as well as organized crime.
According to doctors, as violence has increased in Mexico they have suffered the consequences of crimes like kidnappings, enforced disappearances and killings that have gone unpunished by authorities.
President Peña Nieto has introduced a number of radical measures, including 11 neoliberal structural reforms in education, health and the energy sector, during his first 20 months.
— pc (@pauwina_) June 25, 2016
As if there wasn't enough violence already in Oaxaca, now the mayor is being attacked. https://t.co/j2FVcefZUf
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) June 25, 2016