Fed Up With the Corruption: Mexico Is On the Brink of Revolution

Posted by on June 23, 2016 in Corruption, Government with 17 Comments
Thousands of teachers protested in southern Mexico on Monday to denounce the deaths of eight people after violent weekend clashes that police blamed on unidentified gunmen.

Thousands of teachers protested in southern Mexico on Monday to denounce the deaths of eight people after violent weekend clashes that police blamed on unidentified gunmen.

By Lauren McCauley | Common Dreams 

The Mexican government’s deadly crackdown on a teacher’s union protest has rattled the nation in recent days, as 200,000 doctors on Wednesday joined the ongoing national strike against President Enrique Peña Nieto’s neoliberal reforms.

Anti-government sentiment is mounting after police forces opened fire on a teacher protest in Oaxaca on Sunday, killing at least eight.


Since then, two high level government officials from that state, Oaxaca Minister of Indigenous Affairs Adelfo Regino Montes and Secretary of Labor Daniel Gutierrez, haveresigned in protest of the “authoritarian actions that repress and kill Oaxacan people who defend their rights and the government’s negligence to any possibility of dialogue,” as Gutierrez put it.

On Wednesday, members of the medical organization Yo Soy Medico 17 from 32 states joined the ongoing strike, stating their opposition to Peña Nieto’s health reforms, which they say are a “disguised way of privatizing health in Mexico,” according to TeleSUR.

Further, the group —which translates to “I’m a Doctor”—has vocally condemned the killings and what they describe as intimidation and repression by authorities and organized crime. “According to doctors,” TeleSUR explains, “as violence has increased in Mexico they have suffered the consequences of crimes like kidnappings, enforced disappearances and killings that have gone unpunished by authorities.”

The dissident Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE) teacher’s union—which largely represents educators in Mexico’s predominantly rural and Indigenous southern states—has been staging dramatic demonstrations and road blockades against new mandated teacher evaluations, which they say ignore the challenges of their region while enabling mass layoffs.

These protests have been met with violent government repression, including the recent arrest of two of the union’s leaders. But members explain that the government’s opposition to the teacher’s union runs far deeper.

“The violence used to dispossess them of their basic work benefits with the goal of privatizing education is a reflection of the violence with which the originary peoples and rural and urban peoples are dispossessed.”
—joint statement by National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista National Liberation Army

A social media post by the Twitter handle @puzzleshifter has been shared widely as a valuable explainer of the forces shaping the current violence.

“Why would [Peña Nieto] want to fire teachers en masse? Because they teach social justice curriculum as guaranteed under gains made in the Revolution,” they write. As the post explains, these teachers, known as “Normalistas,” work at the same “Escuelas Normales” that the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students were training to lead.

The post continues:

Normalistas are passionate about their profession and have a strong desire to impact the lives of children in dire rural poverty in Mexico. Many who become teachers, grew up in same communities/conditions as children they seek to teach – about their ability to change conditions.

According to the Mexican Constitution, rural [Indigenous] children have as much right to education as the children of the wealthy.

This is how and why the Escuelas Normales were instituted. However, ever since they were instituted, they have been egregiously underfunded.

This has resulted in teachers who enter the profession, specifically to teach the most left out kids, in Mexico’s society.

For this, over the years, rural teachers have been accused of bringing kids revolutionary ideas. Many say, of course, that’s our job!

So there’s been a constant battle to stay true to the goals of the Revolution to teach rural kids and Central gov to reign them in.

The government violence has also been criticized by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), which issued a joint communique on Monday blasting the “cowardly police attack,” and assuring the teachers, “you are not alone.”

“We condemn the escalation of repression with which the neoliberal capitalist reform, supposedly about ‘education,’ is being imposed across the entire country and principally in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, and Michoacán,” the missive states.

“We call on our peoples and on civil society in general to be with the teachers who resist at all times, to recognize ourselves in them,” it continues. “The violence used to dispossess them of their basic work benefits with the goal of privatizing education is a reflection of the violence with which the originary peoples and rural and urban peoples are dispossessed.”

“We are saying no very firmly to all the so-called structural reforms that mean basically a change of only ownership. They are selling our land, our territory. The people are resisting.”
—Gustavo Esteva, Universidad de la Tierra

The fight seems to be just beginning as the union is vowing to “stay here until the government is willing to talk.”

As one teacher from Nochixtlán told Democracy Now!on Tuesday: “If tomorrow the government is open to dialogue, then the conflict ends. The governor wants what he calls educational reform. And what we want is a dialogue for the kind of change that the people require, the kind that meets their needs.”

The unnamed educator continued: “If you go to our communities, there are many needs. How are the kids doing? The children can’t go to school to learn. All they think about is eating, because they don’t eat. No one can learn if they don’t sleep well, if they walked many miles to go to school. So the government should go and see what happens firsthand. And until there is a dialogue, we will not end our protest demanding educational reform.”

“And who will revive our dead?” they added. “The dialogue won’t bring our dead back to life. And those who are imprisoned, there aren’t just five or 10, there are thousands.”

As Gustavo Esteva, founder of the Universidad de la Tierra in Oaxaca, further explained, “This is a very complex war. It doesn’t—it did not start in Oaxaca. The teachers’ struggle, it is a global struggle. It started in Colombia, in Brazil, in Chile, in the U.S.—everywhere.”

“[W]e are in a war trying to say a very firm no to this kind of education. It is useless instruction,” he added. “And we are saying no very firmly to all the so-called structural reforms that mean basically a change of only ownership. They are selling our land, our territory. The people are resisting. And then we are resisting with them to oppose this kind of operation.”

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.

Tags: , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

17 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. They know how to do it!

  2. 144674799230818@facebook.com' Carol Webb says:

    Well keep it over there!

  3. Thank you for reporting on it. I don’t do TV, but does anyone know if this is being reported?

  4. It’s about time!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. If you 60%native American you should be deported out of Mexico. Then they can come in mexico legally.

  6. 852391808214778@facebook.com' Ewa Garus says:

    Courageous Oaxaca people again.

  7. My question is, would Mexico support Americans? Probably not

  8. hd.maggie@gmail.com' Davis says:

    Meanwhile, we have fought a war half way across the world at the expense of billions of dollars and thousands of lives because of a false notion of weapons of mass destruction and genocide by a brutal dictator while our neighbors on our doorstep are being brutally repressed. When they flee we call them illegal aliens. Now we want to elect a president who wants to what ? Build a wall? what does that make us, apathetic or willfully ignorant?

  9. 1519605248356884@facebook.com' Elken Alei says:

    Good teacher is a soul of engineering for mankind .

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to a friend