Teachers vow ‘intensified’ blockades and other disruptions as crisis deepens
Teachers opposed to the 2013 overhaul of Mexico’s educational system are vowing to intensify the road blockades already blamed for shortages of fuel and gasoline in several southern states, EFE news agency reports.
Jose Luis Escobar, a member of Section 7 of the CNTE teachers union in Chiapas, blamed the conflict on Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
“They hold the only solution,” Escobar told Radio Formula, referring to the Peña Nieto administration, which continues to insist that the 2013 law is non-negotiable.
Though the blockades are creating shortages of food, medicine and gasoline, the people “have understood that this form of struggle is necessary in the face of the stubbornness and myopia of the government,” the CNTE activist said.
The teachers not only plan to continue blocking roads, they are devising “actions of greater intensity,” he said.
CNTE members and their supporters have shut down a score of routes in Chiapas as well as three bridges linking Mexico’s southernmost state to neighboring Guatemala, Escobar said.
More than 100 service stations are out of fuel, according to Arnulfo Cordero, head of the Chiapas Union of Gasoline Distributors.
Reports of shortages are also coming from the neighboring state of Oaxaca, another stronghold of the CNTE. The price of gasoline in some places reached 50 pesos a liter and more, while a black market for fuel and other goods was developing, according to media reports.
Retail sales in Oaxaca have fallen up to 80 percent since the start of the road blockades, merchants said Tuesday during a meeting with the No. 2 official in the federal government, Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio.
Oaxaca city, the state capital, is a popular tourism destination, but only 5 percent of the metropolitan area’s 6,000 hotel rooms are occupied.
Nine people were killed and more than a hundred others wounded on June 19 when police fired on CNTE members and supporters in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca.