Protesters blockade Oaxaca airport today. Protesters blockade Oaxaca airport today.

Teachers’ blockade halts Oaxaca flights

CNTE demonstrators back in Mexico City, CETEG marches on Autopista del Sol

Teachers opposed to education reform continue to protest in at least three states, though in some cases their numbers are severely reduced from years past.

And from Michoacán comes news of teachers’ union instructions to hunt down education officials and disrupt their efforts to keep teacher attendance records.

Section 22 of the CNTE union blocked access today to the Oaxaca airport, which suspended operations, and to a highway linking the capital with the coastal city of Puerto Escondido.

Just after 2:00pm, at least 500 Federal Police arrived at the scene and, according to the newspaper Milenio, asked them to withdraw.

The protesters refused to move and threatened to set fire to a nearby gas station if there was an attempt to remove them by force.

The teachers continue to press for dialogue with state and federal officials, but education authorities have said there will be no dialogue as long as teachers continue their demonstrations.

In Mexico City, dissident teachers were back yesterday, four days after Federal Police put them on buses and sent them home.

The city’s police department estimated that 4,000 CNTE teachers marched, while the city’s Government Secretary put the number at closer to 10,000. Topping off the estimates was that of the CNTE itself, which calculated the total at 30,000.

The newspaper El Universal reported that the demonstration appeared to be much smaller than previous years.

Marchers set up camp on Avenida Bucareli in front of the offices of the Interior Secretariat, as they did last week and, once again, police showed up and persuaded the protesters to move. They relocated their camp early this morning two blocks away at Plaza de la Ciudadela.

The union’s Section 18 local in Michoacán, meanwhile, instructed its members to put together teams to look for officials responsible for reporting which teachers had joined the strike that was called last week, and missed classes.

Put together teams of “whistleblower-hunters” and take the documents they are carrying, went the instructions that were published on Facebook, which also advised cutting their hair.

The goal, said the union local, was to prevent truant teachers from being dismissed for missing classes.

In Guerrero today, dissident teachers were joined by members of two other organizations in a march on the Autopista del Sol towards the south of the city of Chilpancingo.

An estimated 10,000 were participating in the protest this afternoon, according to the Quadratin news service.

Source: El Universal (sp), Quadratín (sp), Milenio (sp)

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