Thousands of Faithful Hold Pilgrimages in Support of Teachers’ Movement
During the pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Photo:@SIPAZ
On July 1, people from more than 15 parishes from the south-eastern region of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas marched with their parish priests to show their support for the teachers’ movement which has been on strike since May 15 to demand the repeal of the educational reform bill and for the Government Secretary, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, to open a negotiating table with the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE).
It was called by pastoral agents and the south-eastern team of Believing People and parish priests and faithful from Tuxtla, Tapachula, San Cristobal, Chicomuselo, La Trinitaria, La Independencia, Comitan, Las Margaritas, Simojovel, Pueblo Nuevo, San Fernando and others took part, amounting to more than 15 parishes. The pilgrimage took place in Tuxtla Gutierrez, beginning at the eastern entrance of the state capital and marched several kilometres to the central square where a rally was held. The Catholics were met with applause by hundreds of teachers, thanking them for their solidarity with the movement. Several parishes and civil organizations spoke at the rally. One of them, Father Marcelo Perez Perez, said that “they will take to the streets as often as it is necessary to demand that the government withdraws the educational reform and all those reforms that attack the rights of Mexican workers.” Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization also expressed their solidarity with the teachers and said in a statement that, “we cannot stay on the sidelines of this system, we cannot remain with our arms folded. […] Brutal death, repression and violence have been the daily bread for us as Mexicans. Because of all the initiatives and structural reforms that the Federal Government has proposed. It is a project of death that does not benefit Mexican society (sic).”
At the same time, the acting general secretary of Section Seven of the National Union of Education Workers, Manuel de Jesus Mendoza Vazquez, stated that, “by agreement of the permanent state assembly, the highway blockades at various points of the state will be maintained to prevent the passage of delivery trucks of transnational companies.” He sustained that the blockades will be permanent until the Federal Government responds to their demand for the repeal of the educational reform bill.