Aspiring teachers in Chiapas have joined their counterparts in Michoacán by turning to violence to press authorities to respond to their demands.
Students of the Mactumactzá teachers’ college stole buses Monday in preparation for a protest in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
The students said they were protesting against the privatization of education and government repression. They also demanded more funding for their school.
Before the protest, the students attacked a garage owned by the bus line Ómnibus Cristóbal Colón (OCC) with molotov cocktails. Drivers and mechanics attempted to stop the students, but they were outnumbered.
The students took four buses — the vehicles are frequently used to mount highway roadblocks — and vandalized others before marching to the state government building.
The students demanded reopening of the boarding school at Mactumactzá, a better food budget, school supplies and the dismissal of 66 employees.
In response to the students’ charge that the government had reduced the school’s budget, the Chiapas Education Secretariat maintained that it had given the institution 20.9 million pesos (US $1.1 million) in 2019 for academic and cultural activities, food, school supplies and school activities.
It also pointed out that it had increased the school’s staff roster by 30 positions to 450 in the current school year.
Meanwhile, in Michoacán students of the Cherán and Tiripetío normal schools, as the colleges are called, hijacked buses and delivery trucks on the Morelia-Pátzcuaro highway on Monday.
On Tuesday, about 30 students halted freight train traffic between Morelia and the port of Lázaro Cárdenas by putting rocks on the tracks in Tiripetío. They are demanding 1,000 teaching positions be made available to 2019 graduates.