By ILPS – Philippines
MANILA – The Philippines chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-Phils) condemns the Mexican government under President Enrique Peña Nieto for the violent dispersal of teachers striking against neoliberal education reforms in the southern state of Oaxaca.
The attack on Sunday left at least 12 dead and dozens injured.
Police were evicting teachers from a road blockade on the Oaxaca-Puebla highway in the municipality of Nochixtlan when gunfire erupted, leading to violent clashes that lasted approximately four hours.
Teachers from the dissident CNTE union, also known as Section 22, had set up the blockade as part of protests over an education reform and the arrest of several of the unions’ leaders over the past week.
Another clash between demonstrators and police took place in the city port of Salina Cruz, in Oaxaca as well, where another group of teachers were blockading a road that connects the state with its neighbors on the Pacific coast. Local media also reported dozens of injured protesting teachers and dozens of arrests.
Before Sunday’s events, hundreds of academic, religious, popular, student, human and social rights organizations around the world signed a document Friday that condemned the “brutal repression” exerted by the Mexican government against teachers who reject the education reform.
The controversial law imposes teacher evaluations in order to determine which applicants will be chosen to fill open posts in the public school system. The National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) said that the law would justify mass layoffs and does not effectively measure teaching skills, like the special knowledge and demeanor needed to teach in rural areas and indigenous communities.