Sunday, June 16, 2024

Teachers return to legislative palace, block deputies’ access

The 2013 educational reforms were up for discussion in the lower house of Congress again today, but not for long: teachers once again blocked access to the Chamber of Deputies, shutting down all congressional activity.

Education and constitutional affairs commissions were to meet today and formally discuss the reforms implemented by the previous federal government, but only 20 of the 66 deputies arrived before members of the CNTE teachers’ union.

The meeting was called off and re-scheduled for Thursday.

About 30 arrived at the congressional palace at about 7:00am. Within an hour and a half, all the entrances were blocked by teachers and their tents.

The spokesman for the union’s Oaxaca local, Section 22, told reporters that the protest was in response to the failure of deputies to meet one of the teachers’ demands, namely having access to the document the lawmakers were going to discuss during today’s meeting.

Wilbert Santiago warned that “reinforcements” were expected to arrive in buses later today, and augment the protest camp’s numbers.

Last week, the Chamber of Deputies was shut down for 48 hours after about 1,500 protesting teachers set up a camp on the streets outside.

Then, as now, the teachers were demanding repeal of the controversial reforms, which President López Obrador has promised to do.

However, one of the most controversial aspects of the reforms was the introduction of teacher evaluations. Opposition members in Congress said on Saturday that about 80% of the reforms remain in the new legislation, including evaluations.

More protests by the dissident CNTE union are likely.

Source: Milenio (sp), Reforma (sp)

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