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Oaxaca teachers resist government attacks

An executive order by the Governor of Oaxaca disbanded the State Public Education Institute of Oaxaca (IEEPO) as part of an effort to weaken teachers’ protests. Teachers from Section 22 of the dissident CNTE (National Committee of Education Workers) have announced that they will fight back.

Celeste Murillo

July 22, 2015
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Read also MEXICO: Statement in the Face of the IEEPO Removal

IEEPO, the State Public Education Institute of Oaxaca, has regulated public education for years (positions, teachers’ evaluation, working conditions, among other problems). At the same time, the CNTE has a definitive say in the designation of the institute’s officials as a result of a wider agreement signed in 1993 by the governor Heladio Ramírez. By dissolving the IEEPO, Federal and local government seek to regain control over public education policies in Oaxaca (as part of a wider reform).

Peña Nieto and the PRI came into office with the firm support of the United States. However Nieto’s popularity has fallen dramatically since the disappearance of the 43 “normalistas” students in Ayotzinapa. The recent escape of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman’s has further questioned the ability of the government to manage crisis.

The PRI administration is trying to pass a comprehensive education reform which will dramatically worsen teachers working conditions and set up a national testing system. This set of reforms has provoked strong opposition by Teachers Unions and point out that the reforms will have the greatest impact on those protesting against government policies. The education reform is part of a wider agenda that includes oil privatization, attacks on workers and a wide range of neoliberal measures.

The governor’s office has sent Gendarmerie and State troops to police the IEEPO’s premises and prevent teachers unions from occupying the building. The Federal government has sent Federal Police troops to support the Governor’s executive order. More than 30 leaders of the teachers union have had arrest warrants issued against them.

The removal of the IEEPO was approved by the National Congress by all major parties; including the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), the PAN (National Action Party) and even the PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution).

The dissident teachers from Section 22 are determined to fight back against the government’s attack. After their meeting yesterday in Oaxaca, they called on teachers, workers, and left organizations all over the country to join them in the protest.

Source: La Izquierda Diario Mexico.

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Celeste Murillo

Celeste is a leader of the Socialist Workers' Party (PTS) and a founder of the women's group Pan y Rosas (Bread and Roses) in Argentina. She is a host of the radio program El Círculo Rojo where she focusses on culture and gender.


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