Teachers march in Oaxaca on Friday. Teachers march in Oaxaca on Friday. milenio

In Oaxaca, from one disaster to another

Teachers are on the march again with the same demands plus a couple of new ones

With the worst of the earthquakes and other natural disasters behind it, Oaxaca now faces the return of protesting teachers.

Members of the dissident CNTE teachers’ union marched Friday in the state capital and announced protests for the coming weeks.

More than 70,000 teachers were estimated to have participated in the event, which concluded with a rally in the city’s main square.

The teachers are demanding the installation of a negotiating table with representatives of the federal government along with others that have made in the past, including the automatic hiring of new teachers, the payment of the salaries of regularized teachers, the annulment of the decree that pried the State Institute of Public Education of Oaxaca away from the union’s control, and the release of teachers who have been jailed.

Two new demands include the release of the public resources for earthquake reconstruction projects and the delivery of humanitarian aid to victims.

Union leader Eloy López Hernández also announced that the union will once again occupy Oaxaca city’s zócalo starting next Monday on the grounds that negotiations with the state government have delivered no results, as well as staggered strikes throughout the state.

Job action will include roadblocks and the occupation of government offices and shopping centers, measures which the union has employed for years.

“We’ve been restrained due to the . . . earthquake and other natural disasters, but we’re fed up  . . . .” said López.

“We also demand an emergency program to rebuild the schools damaged by the earthquakes and rains, because [the federal natural disaster relief fund] Fonden asks for a series of requirements that are virtually impossible to comply with,” he continued.

López said that Section 22, the Oaxaca local of the union, will not abandon the victims of the natural disasters in the state, and that their fight is also the fight of the union.

He warned that the school year is at risk of being interrupted or even lost, and that the state administration will be to blame because it has offered no response to the union’s demands.

Critics of the union, of whom there are many due to the economic pain it has caused to a wide swath of the population over the years, might suggest the state is now moving from one disaster to another.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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