Thursday, July 18, 2024

National Guard, police remove teachers’ blockade of Puebla railway

Teachers who blocked railroad tracks in the municipality of Rafael Grajales, Puebla, to protest being laid off cleared the tracks and ended their protest after state police and the National Guard were deployed to remove them.

Members of the SNTE teachers’ union had been blocking the tracks for 13 days when security forces arrived on the scene at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday. They were told to leave the grounds after their protest had affected millions of tonnes of products transported by the railroad company Ferrosur.

Although there was no physical confrontation, protest leader Diana Montes Hernández said that she considered the manner in which they were forced to leave the tracks an attack by the state.

“We were surrounded. We want to think that this wasn’t [an order from] the president … [but] we were surrounded by over 400 state police, over 600 National Guard troops, drones, over 50 trucks,” she said.

“We decided to withdraw. We don’t want deaths, we don’t want injuries. We are just asking that our demands be heard. The president … comes from [social] movements; he knows that they have left us no other alternatives, … but today it seemed like other agreements were more important to him than taking care of the teachers,” she said.

The demands of the approximately 1,500 teachers include the democratization of the SNTE teachers’ union and their reinstatement to their teaching positions.

Ferrosur announced las week that it was forced to suspend the transportation of cargo between Veracruz and the Valley of México due to the protest, reporting that it had 144,000 tonnes of products it was unable to move.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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