In this article New York Times reporters Azam Ahmed and Kirk Semple analyze how and why the battle over education in Mexico has turned violent and deadly.
NOCHIXTLÁN, Oaxaca — Violent protests have claimed the lives of at least nine people in little more than a week, littered the roads with the charred remains of cargo trucks, and tapped a deep vein of anger and mistrust toward the government.
Thousands of students here in the southern state of Oaxaca have been without school for months as their teachers have taken to the streets, rejecting national efforts to improve the enormous, abysmal education system.
But after government forces clashed with demonstrators here in the town of Nochixtlán June 19 leaving at least nine dead and dozens wounded, the protest movement appears to have gained steam, plunging President Enrique Peña Nieto’s signature education changes deeper into controversy.
In recent days, thousands of students in Oaxaca have joined their teachers in the streets for the first time to rail against the government, and many adults once ambivalent about the teachers’ cries of injustice have also taken up the cause.
“Before, we weren’t supporting either side,” said Karen Hernández Casares, 15, a student in Oaxaca City who was among thousands of fellow students dressed in school uniforms and carrying posters denouncing the education overhaul. “But we can’t stand by and allow government repression.”
“Everything has changed now,” she added.
The violence touched a raw nerve in Oaxaca, which, despite a thriving tourism industry, is one of the poorest and most volatile states in the country. The government’s response to the protests has amplified a belief that the education reforms are just the latest effort by Mexico City to marginalize the people here and deprive them of their rights and dignity.
In most of the country, the president’s push to revamp the schools has found broad acceptance. Government officials and supporters of the overhaul point out that the resistance has been almost entirely concentrated in four southern states, especially Oaxaca, and involves only a small fraction of the nation’s education employees.
Even many of the president’s opponents agree that the nation’s public education system — the world’s fifth largest, with more than 30 million students — is in dire need of repair.
It has long been one of the worst-performing public education systems of the world’s largest economic powers. According to a January 2015 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mexico’s academic achievement ranked last among the group’s 34 member states.
Mexico’s schools have suffered from wasteful spending and a bloated bureaucracy that for years was heavily influenced, if not outright controlled in places, by the powerful national teachers’ union. With about 1.6 million members, it is the largest public union in Latin America.
“The state governments were prisoners of the local sections of the union,” said Carlos Ornelas, a professor of education and communications at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City.
To read full article, click here.
more recommended stories
Members of the “Antorchista” Mexican political organization march the streets of Mérida
According to estimations of the state.
Mexico, Inditex fifth most important market in 2017
The expansion and growth of the.
Explosions rattle Austin, Texas
A deadly string of unsolved bombings in.
Quintana Roo will have Port Facilities Protection Code
“As part of the security adjustments.
Mexico celebrates Benito Juarez “The Lincoln of Mexico”
Benito Juarez’s birthday (March 21) is.
Presidential candidate José A. Meade warns about influence of organized crime in Mexican elections
One of the concerns for this.
K’u’uk: contemporary cuisine or pure alchemy?
Acknowledged at the Food and Travel.
Mérida, one of the best cities to live in Mexico (and the world)
Dan Prescher wrote an article for.
Hacienda Kancabchén: a call from a distant era just 15 miles away from Mérida
Hacienda Kancabchén maintains great part of.
Amazon launches new debit card in México
MEXICO CITY.- Banorte and Mastercard, together.