Mexico backs striker foes; a corrupt cop busted


One of the major purpose of strikes is to generate pressure to force capitulation by employers to union demands, and the striking teachers of Southern Mexico have been doing just that in hopes forcing the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto to withdraw neoliberal, George W. Bush style education “reforms.”

Among those impacted by the strike are business owners in the affected region, who say they are losing money because of striker-built roadblocks and occupations of public squares by members and supporters of the union, the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación [CNTE] [previously].

The government has already used lethal force against the roadblocks [here and here], and now its moving to reduce pressure on local businesses.

From teleSUR English:

Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal announced Thursday that the government would provide financial support to businesses affected by the ongoing protests by striking teachers affiliated with the National Coordinator of Education Workers, or CNTE union.

Meanwhile, in response to demands from the right-wing Business Coordinating Council for more police repression against teachers, Interior Minister Osorio Chong said the government was already using state security forces to forcibly end protests by the CNTE.

Juan Pablo Castañón, head of the Business Coordinating Council, said on Wednesday that the government needed to ensure the return of normal economic activity and should thus turn to state security forces in order to ensure the “human rights of everyone else” were being respected.

Chong, speaking through the media, said they were “already doing so.”

Teachers affiliated with the CNTE union have been protesting President Enrique Peña Nieto’s so-called education reform, which critics say is aimed at justifying mass layoffs and does little to improve education in Mexico.

The conflict between the teachers and the government heated up after police repression in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca on June 19 left at least 10 people dead.

Corrupt cop busted for obviousness

It’s okay to take that under-the-table cash, except when you make your corrupt so flagrantly obvious.

Of at least that’s the impression we take from this report from the Guardian:

A senior Mexican police official has been forced to resign after investigative journalists revealed that he and his wife had built up a property empire incompatible with his humble public-sector salary.

Arturo Bermúdez Zurita, the public security secretary of the violence-wracked state of Veracruz, stood down on Thursday after reports emerged that he and his wife had purchased a string of properties in Texas worth millions of dollars.

His resignation is a rarity in a country where public officials often accumulate fabulous personal wealth, yet accusations of wrongdoing rarely bring serious consequences.

But analysts say that Bermúdez’s fate may have less to do with serious attempts to tackle Mexico’s entrenched corruption than with shifting political winds following recent regional elections in which the ruling Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI) lost power in Veracruz and six other states.

Bermúdez resigned after the online news outlet Aristegui Noticias revealed that he and his wife had purchased five properties in suburban Houston with a combined value of $2.4m – even though he made a mere 59,500 pesos a month ($3,200), according to government transparency records.

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