Demonstrators in Oaxaca fired rockets today at helicopters carrying President Enrique Peña Nieto and an entourage of staff and reporters, puncturing the fuselage of one of the aircraft. No one was hurt.
Members of the dissident CNTE teachers’ union had gathered at the site of Oaxaca city’s new convention center to protest the visit by Peña Nieto, who flew in earlier this afternoon by helicopter to preside over the center’s official opening.
As the presidential entourage descended, protesters fired several rockets of the type used for religious and other celebrations. One struck the aircraft carrying reporters and government personnel and punctured the glass cockpit near the feet of the pilots.
The rocket exploded inside the aircraft, filling it with smoke. The pilot ascended and moved away from the area before landing again.
The teachers’ union, in its continuing protest against federal education reforms, fired rockets earlier at state police who had surrounded the convention center. Police returned the fire with tear gas.
Three police officers were wounded by rockets.
During the ceremony later Peña Nieto condemned the violence and defended the reforms.
“Change always brings resistance,” he said.
Source: El Universal (sp)