Teachers were to return to work today in 40 schools in San Miguel Totolapan, Guerrero, despite lingering concerns over security in the municipality.
Sixty schools closed in December, leaving 5,000 students without classes, due to the threat of violence posed by the criminal gang Los Tequileros, and another 30 shut down at the beginning of the month.
Many schools will remain closed because of their location in a region under the gang’s control.
Those that were to reopen today are located near the municipal seat in the town of San Miguel.
Teachers and members of the self-defense group Movement for Peace have been pressing for the arrest of gang leader Raybel Jacobo de Almonte and the withdrawal of a state Deputy’s fuero, which gives immunity against prosecution.
The Deputy is Saúl Beltrán Orozco, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and allegedly a friend of de Almonte.
Those two points will be made again before Guerrero Governor Héctor Astudillo at a meeting tomorrow in Chilpancingo along with a third: that all the members of the Tequileros be taken into custody on the grounds that the community will not be able to live in peace as long as they continue to operate.
Movement for Peace spokesman Roberto Mata said the situation remains delicate because in his view conditions are not suitable for reopening schools. He also said there is no confidence in the military and police operation under way in the area because it has yet to accomplish anything.
Teachers are fearful, he said, because at least 70 of their number have been victims of kidnapping, extortion or assassination.
Mata’s organization was formed last December by citizens fed up with years of kidnappings, extortion and murders by Los Tequileros. The municipality is located in an opium-poppy growing area in the Tierra Caliente region.
Source: Milenio (sp)