A soldier guards a module of the election institute A soldier guards a module of the election institute. news oaxaca

Teacher talks stalled but protests halted

CNTE withdraws Oaxaca blockades as 3,000 security forces pour into the city

Negotiations between the CNTE teachers’ union and the federal government have reached a tense impasse, but at least Oaxacans can buy gasoline again.

Those negotiations have been focused on an 11-point list of demands the union presented to the Interior Secretariat (Segob) on May 1.

While the complete list has not been made public, its main points include the complete repeal of structural reforms, especially education reform, a 100% pay increase and a complete renewal of the nation’s education system based on its own proposal, “Towards the Education Mexico Needs,” the result of consultation forums carried out by the CNTE in 2013.

The teachers also demand the acknowledgment of the CNTE as a full participant with the federal government in the education system.

At present the union is a dissident faction of the National Teachers’ Union, SNTE, and the latter is recognized by the government as the only valid intermediary when dealing with unionized teachers.

The list of demands also includes a change in payroll procedures by using cheques instead of the current electronic transfer system and stable job positions for all graduates of teacher training schools.

The teachers also want to be able to freely choose their union leaders through a democratic process, freedom for political prisoners and the safe return of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa.

Segob Undersecretary Luis Enrique Miranda’s reply to the teachers’ demands was rejected early Friday morning by the CNTE, but talks resumed again yesterday afternoon. A recess was declared yesterday evening, but neither side is revealing any details.

Last night, a federal force of at least 3,000 elements of the Federal Police, Army and Navy arrived in the city of Oaxaca as part of a nationwide operation by Segob intended to maintain “a climate of security, amity and social peace” during Sunday’s elections. In Oaxaca, over 3,000 state police officers are participating in the federal operation.

Also last night, the CNTE withdrew from the Pemex storage and distribution facility in Tlacolula, freeing up fuel supplies, and the 11 National Electoral Institute offices that had been under their control for five days.

Those offices are now being patrolled by security forces, whose arrival was cheered by onlookers at some locations. Shouted one: “We’re fed up with the CNTE and their blockades! Leaving us without gasoline was the drop that overflowed the glass. We’re sick of radical, vandalizing teachers!”

Source: Terra (sp), Milenio (sp)

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