Mexico: six die in teacher protests

AFP  Getty Images              Members of Mexican federal police clash with teachers holding a protest against an education reform in Oaxaca state on Sunday
AFP Getty Images Members of Mexican federal police clash with teachers holding a protest against an education reform in Oaxaca state on Sunday

21 June, 2016

The teachers are protesting against plans to ove...

Riot police were seen firing on protesters in the municipality of Nochixtlan in southern Oaxaca state, in an attempt to dislodge them. The teachers are pr...

Riot police stand guard outside the Bellas Artes museum as protesters march against President Enrique Pena Nieto's education reform in Mexico City, Mexico June 17, 2016. The teachers are protesting... "These kinds of radicalized demonstrations create violence", he told a news conference in the state capital of Oaxaca City.

Juan Garcia, a leader of the CNTE union in the Oaxaca region, reported that 22 other people were missing.

But later the crowd swelled to about 2,000 protesters, some of them armed with gasoline bombs and powerful fireworks, Galindo added. The teachers claim they are being unfairly blamed for the failures of a system that is broken at its core.

The National Security Commission said in a statement that 21 federal police were wounded, including three hit by gunshots.

On Monday the CNTE said eight had been killed and 20 more were missing.

Police fired tear gas to break up the protests amid reports officers were wielding lethal weapons in order to disperse the demonstrators.

Galindo said teachers were not involved in the shooting. "They had their opportunity to resolve it with dialogue and discussion".

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State Governor Gabino Hint offered the casualty figures, and said the majority of those who died were youths and only two had "connect to the union". Television footage showed chaotic scenes of men running from police as gun fire rang out.

About 100 to 150 protesters maintained the roadblock on Monday in Nochixtlan, where about a half-dozen burned vehicles littered the area and there were no police in sight.

A municipal police officer, who requested anonymity, said a firebomb was thrown on the town's municipal building. It has also protested last weekend's arrest of one of its leaders, Ruben Nunez, and his deputy, Francisco Villalobos.

The CNTE has led efforts to resist federal education reforms, particularly its mandate to carry out teacher evaluations.

The money was taken from the education workers' payslips, which prosecutors say was controlled by the union.

A journalist, meanwhile, was shot dead by unknown gunmen after taking pictures of looting in the town of Juchitan.

The reform aims to remove the power that unions have had over jobs and end the practice in which teaching positions were inherited or sold. Teachers are adamantly opposed to standardized testing as well as the government imposing mandatory testing for all educators.

In response to the arrest of their union leadership, the teachers blocked roads heading towards Mexico City throughout the previous week.

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