Friday, December 8, 2023

In Oaxaca, highway blockade removed but airport blockade remains

A blockade at Oaxaca city’s airport has caused major flight disruptions and threatened to jeopardize Covid-19 vaccine supplies, while a separate blockade on the Oaxaca coastal highway in Puerto Escondido has been lifted.

At the airport, where teachers in training are protesting, 70 flights had been canceled by Wednesday morning. Earlier in the day, National Guardsmen were prevented from accessing Covid-19 vaccines destined for 117,000 state education workers but an agreement was negotiated with the protesters to allow access to the medication.

The teaching students are demanding that all graduates be given automatic job placements.

They appropriated public transit vehicles yesterday, and were expected to protest at vaccination centers today, where educational workers are receiving their shots.

During the last two weeks they have set fire to the offices of the state education authority, hijacked transit buses and blockaded roads and highways.

The airport blockade began Sunday but there were signs Wednesday morning that a settlement was imminent. State education representatives and students met for nine hours, wrapping up at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday with high expectations that the impasse would soon be over.

On the coast, meanwhile, a four-day blockade in a territorial dispute that paralyzed access to Puerto Escondido ended Tuesday night after Governor Alejandro Murat addressed protesting municipal authorities and residents.

The mayor of Santa María Colotepec installed a protest camp on Highway 200 on Friday over a decades old dispute with neighboring San Pedro Mixtepec over land within the city of Puerto Escondido.

Officials in Colotepec accused their counterparts in Mixtepec of influencing an agrarian court in underhanded fashion, which began when they presented a constitutional argument before the court in 2018.

Murat called on protesters to trust in authorities adjudicating the agrarian dispute, and also proposed a new peace agreement between the two communities.

Sources: El Universal (sp), NSS Oaxaca (sp)

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