News from the roadblocks.
“A dialogue with the smell of ’68”
Compiled by Chiapas Support Committee
July 3, 2016
Gathering of Peoples in Defence of Public Education, Health, Territory, Natural Resources and Human Rights in Chiapas.
After the bloody eviction in Nochixtlán, the federal government started to dialogue with the CNTE. However, it continued to refuse to consider the teachers’ principal demand, which is repealing the education reform. On the other hand, it began to issue a threat through the voice of the principal bishops of the regime: if the teachers do not become peaceful, the force of the State will be unleashed against them. Osorio Chong said: “Time has run out.” And last week the Chiapas governor, Manuel Velasco, repeated (badly) the words that Gustavo Díaz Ordaz pronounced just before the Tlatelolco Massacre: “We have been tolerant of censurable excesses.”
The tone reached its highest point on Friday afternoon, July 1, when Osorio Chong announced, in a severe tone, the coming eviction of the roadblocks that the CNTE is maintaining in several points of the country, above all in Chiapas and Oaxaca. In the less than five minutes that the brief message lasted, the functionary warned on two occasions that: “time has run out.” Proceso.com July 2, 2016
On July 2, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre in Chiapas issued an urgent action concerning the threat of violent eviction of protesting teachers from the roadblocks and the actions of a “shock” group that infiltrates those roadblocks.
Also on July 2, the CNTE met with social organizations in Chiapas and formed a popular movement against the “fascist” government in defence of public education (repeal of the education reform), territory, natural resources, indigenous rights and culture, health, human rights, the countryside and sustainable development. (See banner above)
Thousands of Catholics march in Chiapas
Las Abejas march in support of teachers in Chiapas.
On July 1, thousands of Catholics from at least 20 parishes of the San Cristóbal Diocese held a march –the third in less than a month– in Tuxtla Gutiérrez to express their support for the teachers who have been on strike since May 15 to demand the repeal of the education reform and to demand that the Secretary of Governance, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, maintain a table for dialogue with the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE, its initials in Spanish).
The parish priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Pérez Pérez estimated that “between 20,000 and 25,000 people” participated. He stated that the marchers ask for the repeal not only of the education reform, but also of all the other reforms because “they only benefit the big corporations.” Pueblo Creyente of Simojovel warned that: “the way things are going more repression and evictions by federal and state police are predicted.”
Guatemala teachers demonstrate support
Guatemalan teachers demonstrate on the border with Mexico in support of the CNTE.
While Catholics were marching in Chiapas, members of the Guatemalan Education Workers Union (STEG) arrived at the three main border crossings with Mexico to demonstrate their support for the CNTE and briefly block the crossings while announcing their solidarity with Mexican teachers.
Doctors and nurses march with the teachers
On June 22, thousands of doctors, nurses and other workers from the health sector in Chiapas went into the streets of Tuxtla, Tapachula, Palenque, Tonalá and San Cristóbal de Las Casas to show their support for the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) and to reject the labour reform and the reform in matters of public health that the federal government impels.
Minor amendments for UK readers by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity