Dissident teachers again block roads in Oaxaca

Teacher blockades in Oaxaca. (PHOTO: lopezdoriga.com)

Teachers opposed to the government’s education reforms resumed blocking roads Tuesday Aug. 23 in the southern state of Oaxaca, where public schools remain closed, EFE news agency reported.

Members of Local 22 of the CNTE teachers union agreed to block 37 roads for 48 hours.

One of the highways being blocked is the road to Nochixtlan, where eight people were killed in a clash between police and armed civilians during protests by teachers on June 19.

The union said it would let individual drivers pass, but commercial vehicles and trucks carrying cargo will be stopped.

Teacher blockades in Oaxaca. (PHOTO: lopezdoriga.com)
Teacher blockades in Oaxaca. (PHOTO: lopezdoriga.com)

The teachers, who have been on strike since mid-May, are trying to put pressure on the government to scrap the education reforms and release political prisoners.

President Enrique Peña Nieto said during an event Monday to mark the start of the 2016-2017 school year that his administration would stop negotiating with the dissident teachers until they returned to the classroom.

In Oaxaca City and its suburbs, striking teachers blocked the roads to the international airport and the Benito Juarez monument, as well as the highways to Puebla and the city of San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec.

The majority of the schools in Oaxaca state remained closed on Tuesday despite Peña Nieto’s call for teachers to return to the classroom.

A group of parents at Enrique Reyes elementary school in the city of Villa de Zaachila said they were unhappy that their children were unable to return to school.

Alfredo Iriarte, head of the parent-teacher organization, said parents did not want problems with teachers and just wanted their children to register and return to school.

The Peña Nieto administration’s 2013 education overhaul includes regular teacher evaluations and ends longstanding union privileges.

The union contends the evaluations are punitive because they fail to take into account the fact that schools in rural areas often lack electricity and even textbooks.

Some 25.7 million children attend more than 225,000 pre-schools, elementary schools and high schools across Mexico staffed by more than 1 million teachers.

Officials have not said how children have been affected by the teachers’ strike in Oaxaca, Chiapas and Michoacan, three of Mexico’s poorest states.

Source: latino.foxnews.com via efe.com

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