The ongoing violence in Oaxaca, where teachers are imposing a set of neoliberal education “reforms” imposed by the national government, has erupted in deadly violence.
From teleSUR English, a report on a violent confrontation Sunday:
Mexican police attacked teachers striking against neoliberal education reforms in the southern state of Oaxaca, killing at least eight people and leaving dozens more injured.
Police were attempting to evict 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. teleSUR Mexico correspondent Aissa Garcia reported that as many as 12 people may have been killed by the state violence.
Teachers from the dissident CNTE union, also known as Section 22, had set up the blockade as part of protests over an education reform implemented by President Enrique Peña Nieto and the arrest of several of the unions’ leaders over the past week.
More from El País:
Local residents complained on social media that police officers were firing live ammunition at the protesters. The Oaxaca police department said that its officers “were wounded by firearms” and the National Security Commission (CNS) stated in a release that federal police were unarmed.
“We are aware that the gunshots originated from individuals not connected to the roadblocks, who began shooting at the population and the federal police in order to create a confrontation,” said the government.
Photographs of the event published by international agencies show several federal police officers holding weapons and pointing rifles from a trench. In a second release, the CNS said that those photographs are “phony.”
But later, at an evening press conference with Governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo, Federal Police Chief Enrique Galindo admitted that a group of officers did use weapons.
Journalist covering protests assassinated
From teleSUR English, a report on another lethal attack:
A journalist in Oaxaca was shot dead Sunday afternoon after covering the teacher’s blockade of a main highway.
Eligio Ramos Zarate, reporter at El Sur that went by the pseudonym Guillermo Parie, was shot in the neck by two motorcyclists who are still unidentified as he was photographing the holdup of a convenient store nearby.
Raul Cano Lopez, brother of the director of Hechos, another newspaper in Juchitan, Oaxaca, was also killed in gunfire. His brother said that he was just sitting at the bus stop. One unidentified person was injured.
The state agency for investigations said it has not confirmed any motive, but that Ramos Zarate had connections to someone who “supposedly committed illegal acts,” reported El Proceso.
Two Oaxaca state ministers resign in protest
And from teleSUR English once again, one response to the lethal state violence:
Two local ministers have presented their resignation to Oaxaca Governor Gabino Cue following the violent repression against protesting teachers, which left at least 12 dead people and dozens of injured.
The Minister of Indigenous Affairs in Oaxaca, Adelfo Regino Montes, resigned after expressing disappointment for having worked for a government that he described as “repressive” and called for dialogue to solve the conflict with teachers from the CNTE union.
On Tuesday, Secretary of Labor Daniel Gutierrez became the second top official to quit his post, saying he was quitting in protest against the “authoritarian actions that repress and kill Oaxacan people who defend their rights and the government’s negligence to any possibility of dialogue.”
Doctors join in the strike
Finally, another response, also from teleSUR English:
As protests led by the militant CNTE teachers’ union in Mexico continue, the country’s doctors are set to join in the job action, calling for a national strike on June 22 to protest a neoliberal reform to the health system imposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto.
The group #YoSoyMedico17, which is comprised of doctors, pediatricians, surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, has been joined by more than 200,000 physicians from 32 states in opposing the so-called Universal Health System reform by Peña Nieto. The medical professionals say the measure is a “disguised way of privatizing health in Mexico,” and said doctors were not consulted on the reform, according to Animal Politico.
The doctors’ protest will join the ongoing national general strike by teachers.