Confrontation in Chiapas leaves one dead Authorities and teachers accuse each other of provoking teacher’s dea th

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This is an image published in a video in which hundreds of members of the security forces and dissident teachers maintain positions in Ocozocoautla, adjacent to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, at a crossroads that leads to the site of the teachers’ evaluation examination. To the left is the bus that allegedly ran over 3 teachers and was set on fire. Towards the centre (with arrow pointing) is the body of the dead teacher.

By: Elio Henríquez, Correspondent

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

One teacher dead, six detained and five injured (three of them police) is the result of a confrontation that occurred between security forces and teachers of Sections 7 and 40 of the National Education Workers Union (SNTE, its initials in Spanish), when they attempted to boycott the teacher evaluation, the State’s Attorney General of Justice (PGJE) reported.

Education authorities originally announced that the exam would be held on the 12th and 13th of this month, but at the last minute decided to move it forward to start on Tuesday, December 8; therefore, the teachers initiated mobilizations to attempt to prevent their application.

The confrontation occurred at the crossroads that leads to the School National of Civil Protection –site of the exam–, in the municipality of Ocozocoautla, which is adjacent to Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

The PGJE asserted that the demonstrators took possession of a bus, which they set in motion for the purpose of running over a group of police, but when carrying out the manoeuvre rolled over three of their compañeros, among them David Gemayel Ruiz Estudillo, a teacher from Section 40, who died.

On the other hand, Hugo Alvarado Domínguez, spokesperson for Section 7, explained that the teacher was run over by a police bus when they (the police) were attacking them (the teachers) “in a brutal and inhumane manner.” At the first barrier to contain the teachers, he explained, agents of the National Gendarmerie participated, and at the second, members of the Army.

Members of the police were “between 10,000 and 15,000, we were also thousands, but they were armed,” he emphasized.

Alvarado Domínguez detailed that during the confrontation three teachers, two normalistas and one father were detained

He commented that during the early morning hours the teachers detained some buses that were allegedly transporting teachers for presenting the evaluation, but in reality they were administrative workers of the very same federalized assistant secretary of Education.

Pedro Gómez Bahamaca, Secretary of jobs and primary level conflicts and part of the leadership of the SNTE’s Section 7, said: “They gassed us and attacked us, and we didn’t realize at that time that infiltrators took possession of the bus and therefore we are not able to accept the responsibility that they are pointing at us.” He demanded the liberation of the six detained.

The PGJE stated, about the deceased teacher, that: “experts performed investigative work at the scene of the incident, among which they emphasize the lifting up of the cadaver and forensic genetics that permitted corroborating that the rear tyres on the right side of the bus had traces of blood that corresponds to Ruiz Estudillo.”

He asserted that: “the position of the body and the drag of the AEXA line’s vehicle with license plates 664-HU-2, which stayed on the edge of the incident, also coincide.”

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Published in English by Compañero Manuel

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

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