The situation in the southern state of Oaxaca still remains tense after clashes between teachers unions and the police. Blockades remain, while shortages of basic products are affecting the region.
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Tensions remain after clashes in teacher’s union protest in MexicoThe situation in Oaxaca still remains tense after clashes between teachers unions and the police. Blockades remain, while shortages of basic products are affecting the region. CCTV’s Martin Markovits reports.
19-year-old Jesus Cadena always helped anyone in need. When clashes occurred June 19 between the teachers and police town of Nochixtl in southern Oaxaca, he was one of the first to arrive.
“I asked him, what are you doing there? And he answered that he was helping the wounded,” Patricia Schez, his mother, said.
Cadena’s mother patiently waited for her son to return home, when suddenly, she got a call from the local hospital and received the worst news of her life.
“I didn’t believe it, when the nurse told me he was dead. When I arrived his body was still warm,” Schez said.
Jesus Cadena was one of at least nine people killed when violence broke between police and teachers protesting the imprisonment of two union leaders and a controversial education reform bill.
Nearly two weeks after the deadly clashes, protesters are still blocking many highways. Although they are allowing some cars to go through, they are refusing trucks to pass.
All Nochixtl schools have been closed, while shortages of basic goods like fuel, food and medication are becoming widespread. In rural areas, stores are running out of goods. The Mexican government has begun airlifting food to the southern part of the state.
The National Coordinator of Education Workers union said they will not stop the demonstrations and the blockade until the government negotiates with them. The protesters oppose new laws that require testing of teachers and weaken their unions’ power over hiring.
“What we are doing is defending our labor rights,” Carlos Ramirez, Nochixtl teacher, said. “What they are trying to do is control the teachers. We are not going accept that so easily. The government never talked to us when they were writing the reform bill.”
Mexican president, Enrique Pena Nieto refuses to make changes to the approved law, which he said is necessary to reform an education system that is considered one of the worst performing in the industrialized countries.
“What the Mexican government is not going to do is renegotiate the law. Neither the educational legislation or any law is subject to negotiation,” Nieto said.
The Mexican government said they will set up a commission to compensate the families of the victims who were killed last month. But for Jesus Cadena’s mother, she said no amount of money will ease the pain of losing her only son.