The dissident CNTE teachers’ union called a 48-hour strike yesterday in southeastern Mexico, paralyzing traffic for hours in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.
In Oaxaca, union local Section 22 suspended classes throughout the state while the teachers took to the highways to erect blockades.
Roads going in and out of the capital of the state have been blocked, along with locations in Puerto Escondido, Salina Cruz, Juchitán, Ixtepec, Tuxtepec, Nochixtlán and Huajuapan.
Access to the airports in Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido was also hindered by roadblocks, as were several highway toll booths.
In Chiapas, some 80,000 teachers participated in the first day of the strike, which was marked by a demonstration in the capital, Tuxtla Guitérrez. Teachers from CNTE locals Sections 40 and 7 marched on the governor’s office, where they held a rally.
The teachers’ union is demanding the creation of a nationwide negotiation table to address the union’s labor, legal and political concerns. The union claims that the 2013 educational reforms are the source of all the problems.
The teachers say a solution lies in the complete repeal of the reforms, as well as the reinstatement of 586 CNTE members that have been dismissed throughout the country and instant hiring for teacher college graduates.
The teachers are also opposed to the recently approved Internal Security Law (LSI), which they want repealed.
The list of demands also includes the safe return of the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa and justice for the relatives of the teachers slain during the so-called Nochixtlán massacre of 2016.
The Oaxaca union local explained on social media that the 48-hour round of protests was a result of the “stubbornness” of President Enrique Peña Nieto and of his Interior and Public Education secretaries, Alfonso Navarrete Prida and Otto Granados Roldán.
Other smaller protests are also taking place by CNTE members in Michoacán and Guerrero.
This week’s protests are the first of two planned for this month. On April 30, the union will stage a 72-hour strike to be followed by a larger walkout scheduled to start in late May and with no end date programmed.
Source: Reforma (sp)