dorset chiapas solidarity

September 18, 2016

Teachers in Chiapas, Mexico Vote to End Strike

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:54 am

 

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Teachers in Chiapas, Mexico Vote to End Strike 

 

marcha_cnte_cdmx_16-08-2016-jpg_1718483346Teachers affiliated with the CNTE union march during a demonstration against Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto’s education reform, Aug. 16, 2016. | Photo: teleSUR

 

The vast majority of teachers in Mexico have now agreed to return to classes, ending a strike that lasted over 100 days.

After a marathon session inside the “Ernesto Che Guevara” auditorium, teachers affiliated with the militant National Coordinator of Education Workers in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas voted Thursday to accept a government proposal and end their strike and return to classes.

The decision to end the 124-day strike came after votes by teachers from 24 different regions of the state were tabulated. According to Proceso magazine, the final result was 45 percent in favour of ending the strike, with 33 percent opposed; the remainder of the ballots were considered spoiled.

The vote means teachers in Chiapas will return to classes, meanwhile the government will have to abide by a laundry list of commitments, including unfreezing the union’s bank accounts, investing in school infrastructure, and suspending any outstanding warrants for union members.

The deal also means the application of the controversial education reform will be frozen. The strike was launched in May to ramp up the union’s rejection of the government’s education reform, introduced by Peña Nieto in 2013, on the basis that the policies threaten public education with creeping privatization and fail to respond to education needs of rural and Indigenous students.

With teachers from the state of Oaxaca having returned to classes earlier this month, Thursday’s vote means the largest locals of the National Coordinator of Education Workers, known as the CNTE, have now ended their strike.

Trade union leaders from Oaxaca and Chiapas both warned, however, that should the government renege on its commitments, union members would be prepared to engage in a new round of political protest.

Elsewhere in Mexico, teachers affiliated with the CNTE clashed with police in the City of Oaxaca ahead of the events commemorating Mexican independence.

Police prevented demonstrators from reaching the main square, nonetheless Governor Gabino Cue was met with jeers and chants calling him a “murderer” as he addressed the assembled crowd.

 

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

 

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Teachers-in-Chiapas-Mexico-Vote-to-End-Strike-20160916-0007.html

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September 11, 2016

CNTE: The strike isn’t over and there will not be a return to classes, protests continue

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:48 am

 

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CNTE: The strike isn’t over and there will not be a return to classes, protests continue

 

13256155_1108276462549543_8841167055482738318_nCNTE protest with parents and social organizations in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.

 

Teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) agreed this Friday night to continue with the teachers’ movement and not return to classes on Monday, September 12, because there are no guarantees that the 11 agreements the federal government offered will be respected.

After holding a State Assembly all afternoon in which representatives of the 800 union delegations in the 24 regions of the state of Chiapas participated, teachers of Section 7 of the SNTE agreed not to end the strike and that the protests will continue this Saturday with a large march and occupation of government offices in Tuxtla.

They pointed out in their resolution that the consultation process with rank and file teachers continues, but that the results that emanate from them are postponed.

They also proposed: “to immediately demand the opening of negotiations with the federal government with the presence of the state government so that it complies with the offers it outlined and with the presence of social organizations that support the teachers’ movement.”

The teachers had already obtained 11 agreements that launched the consultation with rank and file teachers that make up Section 7 of the SNTE, some 57,000 teachers. These political agreements outlined that the education reform would not be applied during the rest of this presidential term, paying back wages, 150 million pesos for school infrastructure, unblocking bank accounts of the Section’s executive committee, eliminating arrest warrants, as well as some other agreements that the federal government now publicly denies having offered to end the labour strike.

The teachers made a call to the rank and file to gather in Tuxtla and march this Saturday and take over government offices like the state Government Palace, the Federal Palace, the Municipal Palace and the state Treasury offices.

The next state assembly where all the leaders of the Chiapas teachers’ movement will be together is foreseen for next Monday, September 12 starting at noon in the Che Guevara Auditorium of Section 7 of the SNTE.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Friday, September 9, 2016

http://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2016/09/cnte-no-se-levanta-el-paro-de-labores-ni-habra-regreso-a-clases-siguen-la-jornadas-de-protestas/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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September 9, 2016

Chiapas CNTE holds consultations on ending strike

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:24 am

 

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Chiapas CNTE holds consultations on ending strike

 

liverpool-plazaOne of the shopping plazas closed by protesting teachers in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

By: Angeles Mariscal

Teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) carried out consultations in their more than 800 delegations in the state to make a decision about ending the strike that started last May 15 and return to classes. The federal government proposed, extra-officially, suspending de facto the application of the education reform only in Chiapas, through an agreement that would be in effect starting from reaching agreement until the end of the presidential term (sexenio). [1]

During the assembly held last Friday, dissident teachers announced the federal government’s proposal. According to Manuel Mendoza, the CNTE’s leader in the state’s indigenous zone, the federal government’s proposal was made verbally and includes, besides considering Chiapas as a state of emergency, revising the conditions in which education is imparted within the state, in terms of infrastructure and capacity building, to attain some improvements.

The promises also include that their wages would not be docked nor any teacher fired that participated in mobilizations against the education reform, and a program would be implemented for capacity building and incentives for those who wish to participate in the evaluations, above all for those who will be contracted under the new scheme.

During the assembly, at first the teachers decided to continue the strike, because the proposal to suspend the application of the reform was only to the Chiapas teachers; however the decision of the Oaxaca teachers to return to classes next Wednesday, opened the possibility of reaching their own agreements.

Therefore, according to what the CNTE’s spokesperson, José Luis Escobar, announced during this week and until September 9 when they hold the state assembly, the teachers will hold consultations in their more than 800 delegations, in which the parents and organizations that have supported the labour strike also participate.

He explained that faced with the decision of the Oaxaca teachers, the viability of continuing the strike alone must be analysed in Chiapas. He said that if in the delegation assemblies they make the decision to end the strike and return to classes, it does not mean the end of the movement to attain the abrogation of the education reform, but rather re-proposing a new strategy for achieving it.

They agreed to maintain protest actions while they are carrying out the consultation in which it is foreseen that teachers of the indigenous zone will oppose ending the strike because there is no formal written proposal. Today they again closed shopping plazas in the capital; in one of them business owners and their workers placed themselves at the doors in order to impede entry to the demonstrators.

They hung canvas banners with the slogan “CNTE: We’re at home, we need to work.” Nevertheless, the demonstrators did achieve closing the establishments.

[1] Sexenio means a six-year term of office. Here, the reference is to the six-year term of current President Enrique Peña Nieto that ends in December 2018.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Monday, September 5, 2016

http://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2016/09/cnte-lleva-a-consulta-levantar-el-paro-laboral-en-chiapas/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

Oaxaca Dissident Teachers Return to Schools, Saying “the Struggle Continues”

 

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Proceso: Oaxaca, Oaxaca. Thirteen days into the school year, the teachers of Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) who are members of the CNTE [the dissident National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers] decided to return to the classroom, but clarified that their return to teaching does not mean a defeat, because their struggle continues.

Meanwhile, the Secretariat of Education began proceedings to dismiss 1,239 thousand teachers in Oaxaca for accumulating more than three unexcused absences, as provided for in Article 76 of the General Law of the Professional Teaching Service [core part of the education reform].

In a ceremony in Asuncion Nochixtlán, the Political Commission of Section 22 noted that the bloodshed there on June 19, that left 8 dead and over 100 injured, will not be in vain because “we are never going to bow down before an imposed policy. The fight is for the students and for them we will never abandon our struggle,” they warned.

…They insisted that no reform is possible without the participation of students, parents and teachers, however, they said, “we return [to the schools] to fulfil the commitment to students, because educational work is also a political action.”

Finally, they stressed that “in Oaxaca we will never give in. This battle doesn’t end, on the contrary, it is starting because hard times are coming, but that does not scare us.”

Previously, the teachers had said that their struggle would not end with the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, but would continue until a national position was established on [the repeal of] the education reform…

Translated by Reed Brundage

http://www.proceso.com.mx/454012/seccion-22-regresa-a-clases-ninguna-derrota-la-lucha-continua-dice

 

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 09/09/2016

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September 6, 2016

Chiapas teachers thank parents after huge march

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:28 pm

 

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Chiapas teachers thank parents after huge march

“The CNTE in Chiapas is in Force, Thanks to the Support of the Parents,” Recognize the Teachers after Huge March

 

14192603_1652037895125755_5976615994723060304_n-660x330More than 100,000 Chiapas teachers and parents march on September 1. Photo: Pozol

 

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, September 1, 2016

“It’s sad that there is no start to the school year because of the government’s political stupidity,” members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) pointed out after a huge march of more than 100,000 teachers and parents today in the Chiapas capital. “Thanks to the support of the parents and their walking with us, the teachers’ movement is effective,” asserted the teachers, now on strike for 110 days, in protest of the self-named “education reform.”

“But more important than the start of the school year is defending the right to public education, faced with the interests of the entrepreneurs in power,” the CNTE teachers stated during a meeting in the central park of Tuxtla. “What use would it be to start the school year if tomorrow the children of workers won’t have the right to education because it will be privatized,” the dissident teachers warned.

“The thousands of federal police that the government has sent in recent days and ever since 2013, have not been able to stop the teachers’ movement,” the educators emphasized faced with the arrival of federal police in the Chiapas capital, who threaten them with possible evictions. “We will know how to defend any aggression, but the exit has to be through the path of dialogue,” the teachers pointed out.

“What will Peña Nieto report today in the government report: who the police killed in Michoacán, who they killed in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, or about their million-dollar houses?” The Chiapas teachers asked these questions about the federal government report this September 1 and about the massacres and corruption scandals in the current Peña Nieto administration.

 

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“The government bet that the movement would end with the end of the holiday period. Neither the sun, the water nor the repression have been able to bury the movement,” the CNTE strikers. “The education reform is privatizing and punitive, and perversely the government argues and tries to manipulate that it seeks to raise the level of education,” they added during the meeting in Tuxtla.

“The illiterate president wants to throw the teachers into the streets, but the teachers aren’t going to allow it,” members of the teachers’ movement asserted. “We don’t ask for a salary increase or a holiday bonus, only to be participants in a real education project; but the government refuses because it defends the entrepreneurs’ business,” the teachers emphasized.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Thursday, September 1, 2016

http://www.pozol.org/?p=13652

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

 

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August 26, 2016

Insumisión: Schools Remain Closed as the State Amasses Forces of Repression

Filed under: Repression — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:48 am

 

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Insumisión: Schools Remain Closed as the State Amasses Forces of Repression

Originally posted on It’s Going Down
By Scott Campbell

As the strike against educational reform by teachers belonging to the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) in Mexico enters its fourth month, the conflict between the people and the neoliberal narcostate seems poised to take another turn, a potentially violent one. The government is running out of tricks, leaving the likelihood it will return to its old standby, state violence, all the more likely.

When the strike first began on May 15, the government’s tactic was to ignore the teachers, refusing to talk to them. As that failed and support for the teachers grew, it tried brute force, leading to the Nochixtlán massacre on June 19, a day when twelve were killed. That repression caused national outrage and succeeded in turning a teachers’ movement into a popular one. The government then offered up negotiations as a fig leaf, yet meeting after meeting made clear that the state had no actual interest in negotiating anything. The school year started in Mexico on Monday, August 22, but teachers remain on strike and schools have not opened in Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán and parts of Mexico City.

 

oaxaca-march-school-yearMarch in Oaxaca on August 22.

 

Frustrated in their attempts to crush or wear down the teachers, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced on upon the start of classes that, “There will be no more dialogue; education first.” A day later on August 23, Public Education Minister Aurelio Nuño stated, “With complete clarity we say, there is no possibility of returning to any negotiations until all children are where they should be, in a classroom. And precisely because the future of Mexico is non-negotiable, the Educational Reform will continue.” The Defence Minister got into the act, claiming the armed forces support the reform and that soldiers want “to serve as an example for others.” Not coincidentally, that same day three airplanes full of federal police arrived in Oaxaca to join the thousands of state forces already stationed there, an indication that Peña Nieto may make good on his statement that “the government has no qualms about applying the use of force” as a means to resolve the teachers’ strike. At least 1,500 more federal police were in Oaxaca by Wednesday, August 24 and helicopter flyovers of the city had resumed for the first time since the Nochixtlán massacre.

In recent weeks, mass mobilizations and movement organizing efforts have continued. August 8, Emiliano Zapata’s birthday, saw upwards of 100,000 teachers and farmers march together in Mexico City. A day later, farmers, teachers and civil society groups took over a toll plaza on the Nayarit-Sinaloa highway, allowing cars to pass for free and asking that instead of paying the toll drivers donate to the struggle. Teachers, civil society groups and prominent academics gathered in Mexico City on August 10 for a twelve-hour national forum to discuss what a democratic and holistic education project would look like. A second forum will happen in September. During this time, for five days in a row teachers in Chiapas blockaded and shut down businesses belonging to transnational corporations and companies who are part of the neoliberal business association Mexicanos Primeros. Another business group, COPARMEX, recently lamented that the teachers’ strike has caused more economic damage than the armed Zapatista uprising in 1994. On August 12, Secretary General Rubén Núñez and Organization Secretary Francisco Villalobos of CNTE Section 22 in Oaxaca were released from prison. And the Guatemalan teachers’ union also expressed their support, shutting down an international crossing with Mexico for the second time on August 13.

 

nayarit-sinaloa-toll-booth-takeoverToll plaza takeover on Nayarit-Sinaloa highway.

 

Following the last round of fruitless talks with the government on August 16, the CNTE agreed on August 18 to not return to classes. They were backed up in Chiapas by parents assemblies that vowed to shut down any school that attempted to open on August 22. Instead, the school year was kicked off in the rebellious south with tens of thousands marching in Chiapas and Oaxaca and the installation of 25 highway blockades for 48 hours in Oaxaca alone.

Peña Nieto is likely seeking to impose a solution to the strike before long. September 15 is Mexico’s Independence Day and an increase in state repression often occurs right beforehand to ensure the reign of social peace for an undisturbed celebration of nationalism. Just down the road, the PRI will be retaking power in Oaxaca under the governorship of Alejandro Murat on December 1, and positioning is already underway for the 2018 presidential elections, with none other than Public Education Minister Aurelio Nuño pushing to be the PRI candidate.

One last note about the teachers. Section 22 in Oaxaca previously set up a fund for the survivors and families of the victims of the Nochixtlán massacre. The Mexican government, in collaboration with Santander Bank, quickly shut it down, confiscating the 17,000 pesos it contained. There is again a way to donate to the Nochixtlán fund. For obvious reasons, it is not public. If you or your crew would like to donate/organize a benefit, get in touch at scott [at] fallingintoincandescence [dot] com.

Aside from the teachers’ strike, Peña Nieto has been having a rough couple of weeks in the realm of popular opinion. On August 11, a poll revealed his approval rating to be at a historically low 23 percent. This certainly wasn’t helped when five days later The Guardian reported that Peña Nieto’s wife, Angelica Rivera, has been enjoying stays in Key Biscayne, Florida at a $2 million apartment owned by Grupo Pierdant, a company bidding on Mexican government contracts. This news broke only a month after Peña Nieto apologized for the “perception” of wrong-doing related to Rivera’s $7 million purchase of a home in Guerrero owned by government contractor Grupo Higa. Then on August 21, a widely publicized exposé showed that Peña Nieto plagiarized nearly one-third of his university thesis. While these PR stumbles certainly don’t cast Peña Nieto in a positive light, he still maintains the support of the elite and these incidents pale in comparison to the broader devastation and exploitation he has wrought on Mexico.

 

michoacan-train-track-burning-protestTrucks set alight on train tracks in Michoacán.

 

Challenges to the status quo continue outside of the teachers’ strike as well. On August 11, students from Michoacán’s eight teaching colleges (normales) burned two trucks on train tracks and blockaded a highway. The students were acting in support of the teachers and also demanding the government guarantee a certain number of jobs upon graduation. Currently the state government refuses to hire teachers coming from normales in Michoacán. At a subsequent protest on August 15, while the normalistas were blockading a highway, federal and state police arrived and opened fire on them. Forty-one were arrested and fortunately no one was killed. Eight students remain in maximum security prison.

On that same day, to the east in the State of Mexico, police opened fire on students protesting cuts in enrolment at an extension school of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Naucalpan. The shooting is the first example of the use of the Eruviel Law, which allows police in the State of Mexico to fire live ammunition at demonstrations and punishes police who don’t follow orders to do so.

Atenco, also in the State of Mexico, received a solidarity visit from environmentalists Vandana Shiva and Sebastiao Pinheiro on August 13 in support of the community’s struggle against the latest attempt to build Mexico City’s new international airport on its lands. Construction of the highway to leading to the airport was ordered suspended on July 26, yet crews and machinery began operating again on August 16. Atencans ran the crews off their land and reinforced the encampment in Tocuila, designed to impede construction. On August 18 and 19, construction began again, escorted by a “shock group” of men hired by a local authority. The group tore down and burned the encampment on August 19 and threw stones at Atencans who came out to defend their land. Defiant as ever, Atenco residents rebuilt the encampment the same day.

The state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, saw a massive demonstration of 100,000 on August 16, when teachers, civil society groups and even the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos (UAEM) called for a mobilization against Governor Graco Ramírez. Protesters were demanding he be removed from office and charged for the ongoing femicides, kidnappings, murders, and corruption. Students also erected an encampment surrounding the state government’s offices. As if to make the point clearer, a report released a week later found that of the 117 bodies illegally buried in mass graves by the state prosecutor’s office in Morelos, 84 showed signs of torture. Naturally, the state’s reply was to issue an arrest warrant for the president of UAEM. In a similar case, Professor Rene Torres in Mexico City has been arrested three times in three days, only to be released without charge each time, in clear retaliation for his support of the student struggle at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN).

A few more pieces to share to round out this latest dispatch of news. The relatives of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa have cut off negotiations with the federal government. They say they will not return until Tomás Zerón, the head of the Criminal Investigation Agency (equivalent to the FBI in the US), is removed from his position. To mark 23 months since the disappearance, the families will be holding a cultural, artistic and political event outside of Aztec Stadium on August 26. Environmental defender and political prisoner Ildefenso Zamora was freed after nearly nine months in prison on trumped-up charges on August 13. A report on Radio Zapote documents the ongoing struggle of farmworkers in San Quintín and their primary tool: a boycott of Driscoll’s Berries. While actions are frequent in the US, a Boycott Driscoll’s protest occurred at a supermarket in Mexico City on August 18. On August 22 and 23 the first National Gathering on Forced Disappearance was held in Mexico City.

 

After months of organizing, 105 indigenous Oxchuc communities jointly decided to expel political parties and elected officials from their lands and to return to governing according to the indigenous practice of usos y costumbres. The final event of the Zapatista-initiated CompArte Festival for Humanity occurred in the Zapatista caracol of Roberto Barrios. Here’s a translation of Subcomandante Moisés’ statement at the end of the festival. The National Indigenous Congress, a Zapatista-inspired formation, will celebrate 20 years of existence with its fifth gathering in San Cristóbal, Chiapas in October. In other indigenous-related news, a new report noted that 80 percent of Mexico’s indigenous population lives in “poverty”. A condition that, if you’re Governor Mario López of Sinaloa, exists because of laziness. In response to a report that 822,000 Sinaloans live in “extreme poverty”, López said, “In Sinaloa, if you’re hungry, it’s because you’re lazy.”

 

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Anarchist political prisoner Fernando Bárcenas released a call for solidarity with the prison strike happening in US prisons on September 9. We’ll have the English translation up shortly. And a group of anarchists offered a difficult but important public reflection on the events surrounding the police murder of anarchist Salvador Olmos in Oaxaca in June, which It’s Going Down has published in English.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 26/08/16

 

https://itsgoingdown.org/insumision-schools-state-repression/

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August 25, 2016

CNTE Mega-march in Tuxtla

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:02 am

 

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CNTE Mega-march in Tuxtla

With a Mega-March in Tuxtla, the CNTE in Chiapas Confirms that the School Cycle Isn’t Starting

 

DSC_0169-1-995x498CNTE March in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

 

“The school cycle ought to start today, but all the teachers are protesting here because of the government’s obstinacy,” said members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), after a march of more than a hundred thousand teachers from the west to the Chiapas capital’s central plaza, one hundred days after the teachers initiated their strike in protest over the self-named “education reform,” which the administration of Peña Nieto has wanted to implement in the country, even using public force to achieve their objective.

During the meeting in Tuxtla’s central park, on welcoming the different contingents that participated in the mega-march, the question was if they were tired now, to which the teachers answered with a resounding NO, despite the long walk, despite the strong rain, despite the hundred days. The teachers emphasized that the reason for being part of the teachers’ movement are precisely the students, parents and public education in Mexico.

“We are challenging the state’s authoritarianism; there is not one single educational level that is not in the movement,” they stated on seeing the arrival of delegations of basic and middle higher education, as well as teachers’ college students, parents, retirees and social organizations in solidarity.

From Chiapas the CNTE spokespersons waved the checkered flag on stage three of the teachers’ movement magisterial that started last May 15, in which, despite the fact that it will be critical and complex, they will carry out more devastating actions, they assured. The CNTE movement called on the government to give an immediate response to the demand for abrogation of the “education reform,” the appearance with life of the teachers’ college students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero and the freedom of political prisoners in Mexico.

Members of Sections 7 and 40 of the CNTE affirmed that after more than three months, the movement remains alive and seeks a “democratic education, an alternative education project that goes from below to above.” They likewise warned that the media lynching against them would increase; therefore, they will keep the parents, who as of this date have been supporting them, continuously informed. “We have the support of all the aggrieved people,” they assured.

In his participation in support of the teachers’ movement, Father Marcelo Pérez representing the parish of the Simojovel community, asked those present if they were afraid, to which those present responded with a resounding NO, even after Peña Nieto’s threats to use public force against the dissident teachers. “In the face of tyranny, the people have the right to fight for the homeland and for liberty. If they touch the teachers they touch all of us,” the Chiapan parish priest assured. “They are on alert in the different communities to defend our teachers,” the religious man added.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Monday, August 22, 2016

http://www.pozol.org/?p=13553

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 25/08/2016

 

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August 20, 2016

CNTE causes more economic damage than the EZLN Uprising

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:03 am

 

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CNTE causes more economic damage than the EZLN Uprising

 

walmart-office-depot-blockshutting down business in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.

 

By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas

The president of the Employers Confederation of the Mexican Republic (Coparmex) in this state, Enoc Gutiérrez, said today that the economic damages caused by the teachers’ conflict “are worse than those of 1994,” after the armed uprising of the Zapatista Nacional Liberation Army (EZLN).

Enoc Gutiérrez reminded that on Tuesday August 2, the Employers Centre, affiliated with  Coparmex, presented a legal demand for an amparo (protective order) to the Judicial Power of the Federation (PJF) against the state and federal authorities due to “omissions” in attending to the teachers’ conflict that, after more than 90 days, have allegedly caused million dollar losses in Chiapas and other states in the country.

Although the case could be resolved in the coming days or weeks, Gutiérrez maintained that: “this is one of the worst situations that reflect economic damages and affectations, we evaluate and tell you that they are even worse than those in 1994. And we have an international context much more complex and a devaluation in the Mexican economy.”

He also clarified that the business owners “are not enemies” of the government authorities or of those who head the institutions of the Mexican government, but neither will they be accomplices in permitting that conflict situations cause damages to third parties that affect the economy and above all that impair the education of the state’s children.

Later he said that they would not promote the repression of movements when they are conducted with unrestricted adherence to the law, and that they will always make use of the laws that they have at hand for defending their right to free movement and the free exercise of labour and free enterprise.

He also pointed out that the demand for an amparo is so that the Mexican State will act and re-establish the peace and respect the constitutional guarantees, like the right to education.

Lastly, he demanded that the federal government and the CNTE go further in their tables of dialogue and negotiations and produce concrete results to put an end to the conflict.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com.mx

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

http://www.proceso.com.mx/451121/dano-economico-cnte-mayor-al-alzamiento-zapatista-coparmex-chiapas

Re-published in English by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 20/08/2016

 

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August 9, 2016

Chamula Communities Up for a Fight

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:57 am

 

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[Communique] Chamula Communities Up for a Fight

 

53d02c1fe13d926fa81deac7deed4e53_M.jpgbigger

San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. 20th July 2016.

Given the events of today in the eviction of people from the San Cristobal de las Casas road, the people of Chamula completely distance ourselves from participating as was reported by Televisa and TV Azteca. We place responsibility on Narciso, leader of the organisation  ALMETRACH and the President of Chamula “Zetjol” . They are complicit in this brutal repression perpetuated against the Chiapas People’s Teachers Movement (or as it’s known in Spanish “Movimiento Magisterial y Popular de Chiapas”) and allies.

We call on the general public to not fall for the dirty tricks of these people who only do one thing which is the dirty work Governor Manuel Velasco.

As inhabitants of Chamula we support the teachers’ movement because we too are tired of bad government, corruption and injustice.

We place responsibility on the three levels of government who are causing so much damage to fellow citizens and we ask in the most respectful manner that the demands of the CNTE be met immediately. If we are not listened to, we will have to rise up in arms to reinforce our brothers and sisters’ struggle against the education reform, which threatens the whole nation. A lot of blood will run. There will be radical activities, we now understand Peña’s language.

After today’s events, we are organising our communities and we will not abandon our own people, our fellow citizens and teachers.

We call on all municipalities in Chiapas to support a coup d’etat if these people don’t agree. We will strengthen our fight, the municipality of Chamula will take up arms if necessary. If the government doesn’t want peace, then we will not give them peace. The municipalities of Chiapas have to be united today more than ever. United we are strong.

Chamula Communities Up for a Fight

Hasta la Victoria Siempre

United and Organised We Will Triumph

Out with the Paramilitaries

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 09/08/2016

http://www.proyectoambulante.org/index.php/noticias/nacionales/item/6651-comunicado-comunidades-de-chamula-en-pie-de-lucha

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August 7, 2016

What’s the government betting on against the CNTE’s demands?

Filed under: Political prisoners, Repression, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:46 am

 

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What’s the government betting on against the CNTE’s demands?

 

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By: biko

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Pozol. July 28, 2016.

75 days of occupation is not just anything. Nevertheless, despite the respect that this long two and a half-month path of struggle deserves; the State just vacillates without offering serious responses. There is a clear strategy of wear and tear (attrition), there are no responses, only delays to a problem that the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), presents in a precise and simple manner: repeal the “education reform.”

While the government sits down at the table and presents a conciliatory discourse, through its mass media it voices, again and again, that there is nothing to negotiate. There is a joke, a game not just in the management of language and time, also in the hope of the mobilized base. But this joke is not only on the CNTE; it’s also a joke on the people in struggle and on those people that the power names “audience,” “Market.”

You don’t need to be a specialist to know that if the government sat down to negotiate (very reluctantly), it means that it has to offer something in response to the CNTE’s demand that, as already stated, has been very clear. However, away from the table, the government makes it known to everyone that: “the law is not negotiable;” in other words, makes it clear that it’s not going to the table to negotiate, but rather to gain time. The teachers’ movement has evidenced that rough language: the cynicism, peculiar to power and its decadence. But it has left other things in evidence: the ruling classes’ fear of the social mobilization and the patent ineptitude of some upstart business owners/rulers.

Sitting down to negotiate (or simulating negotiations while in your real language, the media, you say something else) and maintaining that negotiating space, indicates that the rulers don’t have the ability to establish another form of domination (although it may be simulated) towards the CNTE. Another form would have “attended to” the problem in other ways without resorting to these bodies. But it has not been capable of that, nor of making use of police repression, or repeating the lie through the mass media.

To those weapons, indeed powerful by themselves, it now adds the shameless pressure of those who really govern this (and any) country: the business class.

The statements of the Employers’ Confederation of the Mexican Republic (Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana, COPARMEX), which in recent days have been reiterated, are added to a conjuncture that, presumably, those up there above observe: wear and tear on the movement after two and a half months of struggle (police repression + political persecution + exhaustion + economic wear and tear + social discredit of the movement derived from the permanent and intense media attack).

They think that it’s the time to carry out another repressive offensive (either through their multiple repressive bodies, shock groups, “legal” mechanisms, or some NGO´s, etcetera). More than a month has passed since the attack on the town of Nochixtlán, a month of pause, which they calculated, has passed through the “dialogue-negotiation tables.

So, are they betting that it’s enough time to forget? They have gambled on dividing civil society in solidarity with the teachers with campaigns of hatred and discredit towards the teachers; they have bet on an internally dividing movement (as they have always done in this and in other struggles); they have gambled on exhaustion and fear. What is the strategy now (if there is any): the forgetting and indifference of civil society towards the CNTE to carry out the belligerent orders of the bosses?

If it’s perhaps a theme of memory, it’s convenient that they remember: Nochixtlán, where the people far from fleeing, courageously confronted the police and paramilitaries; San Cristóbal de las Casas, where the people far from turning tail in the face of the police and paramilitary attack, recuperated the roadblock and increased their rage; San Juan Chamula, where their montage, added to the years of sowing hatreds, made everything get out of (their) control and the government was once again left standing idle.

The EZLN warned them. They didn’t understand.

The crisis that prevails now is serious and very complex, but in our territories this complexity also allows the ineptitude of the politicians and business owners that “govern.”

“A dialogue table cannot be maintained with those who, at the same time, remain in the streets violating the law with impunity,” assures Gustavo de Hoyos, head of the COPARMEX. “The Mexican State would seem to be losing the battle versus some that systematically violate the law.” We don’t know if the head of that employers’ association referred to the teachers or to the business owners and politicians whose history of crime, corruption and alliances with organized crime, is an open secret for the population.

“It seems to me that we have learned about the process. At best they should have considered what the different scenarios of consequences could be before emitting the laws. They didn’t do that, and now we are finding out.” It’s plausible that the specialist Sylvia Schmelkes (de facto writer of the education reform) is learning, it’s just lamentable that it’s only now (after so much blood spilled “in that process”) that it occurs to her to suspect what she ought to have done before, what it now seems necessary to do.

“There is nothing to discuss, there is no dialogue with respect to any education reform because that education reform is helping the country, the youths, the children, the teachers, just like there is nothing to discuss with respect to any reform.” If that is what the Secretary of Government, Osorio Chong, asserts to the media, why continue at a negotiating table that justly seeks to abrogate the education reform?

The bosses call the majority that fights for their rights (employment and education) a minority and criminals; the “intellectuals” of the “education reform” are not capable of processing information in a simple interview, or articulating simple ideas when giving answers and they vomit surprising gibberish; the politicians are incapable of generating arguments, or at least disguising them to confuse the people, as is their intention.

Not in the bosses’ belligerence of Hoyos; not in Schmelkes’ intellectual gibberish; nor in Chong’s ineptitude and political ravings; or in the sputtering of “communicators” like Dóriga, do we glimpse serious answers to the dignified movement of the CNTE, and above all, to the dignified support and popular solidarity movement. Up there above there are no merits or abilities, the only weapons they possess are violence and lies, the intellect passes unnoticed.

This corporate-political ruling class seeks to win this war (its war), without a single battle being presented, without brandishing a single weapon and with violence and the lie as argument (baldy employed, for sure). They bet on fatigue, on the error of the other, not on the merits.

There was a time in which those who governed were a class that earned and defended, by force, their titles and their power on the battlefields. Now, there is just a gang of rich kids inheriting places that “they defend” with structures of repression, also inherited, in unequal battles in their favour. There is not a single merit among those that up there above shriek terms like: competitiveness, honesty, efficiency, success, quality, and etcetera.

And, even so, they have the cynicism of judging-for-repressing those who defend the rights they won through long struggles, against unequal odds.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Thursday, July 28, 2016

http://www.pozol.org/?p=13196

Minor amendments for UK audience by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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July 26, 2016

Chiapas: “The people’s patience has run out”, Pueblo Creyente express solidarity with the teachers

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:30 am

 

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Chiapas: “The people’s patience has run out”, Pueblo Creyente express solidarity with the teachers

 

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published by the Pozol Collective, 18 July 2016

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Pozol, 18 July. Thousands of parishioners from 52 parishes of the dioceses of San Cristobal de las Casas pilgrimaged in solidarity with the teachers and to commemorate the 25 years since the establishment of the Pueblo Creyente movement, which began in 1991 “to seek justice and respect for the most basic rights of being human” stated the pilgrimage organisers after a long walk.

Among the participants in this massive pilgrimage were members from the groups in the Highlands, Lowlands, Cho’l, Southeast, South, Tsotsil, Tzetzal and the Centre. They delivered food supplies to the teachers’ picket in Tuxtla, who have been there since 15 May, protesting the self-styled “education reform”. “We demand an alternative education project”, stated the protesters, among whom are teachers from the trade union sections 7 and 40, which belong to the “Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE – or National Coordinator of Education Workers).

The parishioners from Chiapas expressed via a communique their disdain of the political class in Mexico, its corruption, and the fact that they use laws and the police and military forces to their advantage. “It’s necessary to reorient politics to benefit the most vulnerable,” they emphasised, and to this “it’s necessary to look for alternative and autonomous routes.”

“The people’s patience has run out,” said the indigenous communities and campesino pilgrims categorically. “Enough! We’ve had it with so many lies and tricks; with the exploitation of the poor, and with the manipulation of laws and use of violece,” they stated.

The spokesperson for the Pueblo Creyente Joel Padron asked that the CNTE teachers “don’t get up from the table of dialogue with the Government until we have achieved a Mexico that we want.” This pilgrimage will not finish until we have achieved justice,” added the priest who had been imprisoned in 1991 and for whom the indigenous communities went on pilgrimage to demand his freedom.

Father Marcelo from the parish of Simojovel said that if the government continues to insist on imposing this education reform, we don’t discard the possibility of walking from Chiapas to Mexico City. “A pilgrimage is to liberate people through walking, yelling, and telling the truth,” said the pastor. “If the government imposes these reforms by force, it will do so only by making our blood run,” warned the priest from Chiapas.

 

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

http://www.pozol.org/?p=13045

 

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July 22, 2016

Chiapas: Vigilante Group Violently Removes Dissident Teacher Blockade of Highway

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:15 pm

 

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 Chiapas: Vigilante Group Violently Removes Dissident Teacher Blockade of Highway

 

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About 200 masked men attacked teachers and parents with stones, sticks and pistols, removing their blockade on the toll road between San Cristobal de Las Casas
and Tuxtla Gutierrez Photos: Colectivo Tragameluz and Elio Henriquez
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas

 

La Jornada: Elio Henríquez and Hermann Bellinghausen

On Wednesday afternoon, about 200 people carrying sticks, machetes and guns attacked the blockade being maintained by teachers, students, parents, representatives of more than fifty neighbourhoods of the city of San Cristóbal and members of various organizations on the toll road between San Cristóbal and Tuxtla Gutierrez. They have maintained the blockade since June 27 to demand the repeal of the education reform.

Accompanied by municipal and state police, the attackers attacked the blockade’s tarpaulins and tents, kicking them and destroying them with machetes, and setting them on fire, while the police surrounded them to allow them to carry out their action.

During the attack, a bullet wounded the elementary school teacher, Romualdo Guadalupe Urbina, who received a 22 calibre bullet wound in the collarbone. Another participant of the blockade was run over and suffered a fractured tibia and fibula. Both were admitted to the clinic of Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers, while residents of the neighbourhood where the clinic is located blockaded the Santa Martha bridge and the clinic access roads “to protect the wounded”.

The attack was perpetrated by several dozen people who are officials of San Juan Chamula and involved over a hundred indigenous men from San Cristobal. The teachers identified them as part of the Association of Tenants of Traditional Markets of Chiapas (Almetrach), headed by Narciso Ruiz Sántiz, who, in previous days had threatened to attack the blockade. These groups are identified with the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM), which governs both municipalities [and the state government].

The teachers of Section 7 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), who belong to the National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers (CNTE), and parents supporting them did not respond to aggression and were forced to retreat and regroup in the central park of the San Cristóbal.

The violent eviction began at 12:30pm. Carrying a few small banners and brandishing sticks, machetes and stones, the attackers arrived assuring it was “in peace”, but immediately they began to lash out against the installations of the blockade and remove logs, tyres, rocks and other obstacles.

Behind them came a heavy truck and several pickup trucks sounding their sirens and carrying state and municipal police. The police did not directly involve themselves in the eviction; they only protected the indigenous men who destroyed and burned the tarps and tents.

Some attackers assaulted Dolores Rodriguez, a reporter for Noticiero Networks, for taking photographs. One of the assailants pointed a gun at her head. Others shot firecracker rockets [used to announce neighbourhood fiestas] in horizontal paths into the woods.

Shortly after, the police left and the place was under the control of the attackers. Adalberto Hernandez Rabanales, leader of Section 7 in the Highlands Region [of Chiapas], described them as a “shock group” and blamed the government at all three levels [municipal, state and federal].

When the local police withdrew, the teachers and members of civic organizations regrouped a hundred meters away, near the Hospital of Cultures. When they returned to try to rescue vehicles, the masked men fired at them. It was then that Urbina Estrada was wounded.

Later, six Federal Police (PF) patrol cars arrived. The burning and destruction of the encampment continued under the surveillance of the police. The action ended at 3pm, when the masked indigenous men left the place. The group from San Juan Chamula boarded a bus belonging to the Christopher Columbus bus line and the largest group marched in formation back to San Cristobal. The place remained under the charge of the three Federal Police patrol units until 4pm, when dozens of residents from the south side of San Cristobal returned with sticks and stones which they threw at the patrol cars.

The police then left in their vehicles and stopped a kilometre away. Within minutes, the blockade was restored. During the evening, more people kept arriving, and they extended the obstruction of the roads with bonfires, logs and pieces of iron. Again, there were several hundred parents, teachers and residents of different neighbourhoods, all in an atmosphere of excited tension.

During the afternoon, in Central Park, Hernandez Rabanales said that earlier “there were rumours that people from Chamula would evict us, but supporters from social organizations told us that they had communication with government agencies who told them that the indigenous would only pass through on their way to an activity in Tuxtla Gutierrez.”

In an interview with La Jornada, the teacher leader added: “It seems that the idea was to provoke a breakdown in the negotiations [with the federal government in Mexico City], because yesterday the unified negotiating committee said there was no point in talking because the government was only trying to impose [its position].”

In the afternoon, the teachers marched in the streets of the centre [of San Cristóbal], while in the park a group of hooded youths set fire to the wooden doors of the old city hall (which is being turned into a museum) and entered the building, breaking all the windows. Smoke came out of some windows.

Meanwhile, unidentified indigenous masked men, unrelated to the organizations that support the teachers, ransacked an Oxxo [convenience store] located half a block from the former city hall. They handed out cigarettes, drinks and other products to children and youths, creating a commotion.

According to the state government, the police rushed to the eviction as a deterrent to avoid a confrontation between residents of San Juan Chamula and CNTE demonstrators. In a statement, it claimed that “in response to an alert issued by the State Centre for Control, Command, Communication, Computation and Intelligence (C4I), which reported the presence of people from Chamula on the highway near the CNTE blockade, 200 agents were sent to protect the integrity of citizens, avoiding any reason for confrontation.”

In fact, police and attackers arrived together. According to the government version, the indigenous men came “to dialogue peacefully and request the free movement of citizens, merchants and transportation workers, such that the protesters chose to leave the area voluntarily and the road was freed.”

The mayor of Chamula, Marco Antonio Gonzalez Cancino, disavowed any responsibility in the eviction.
Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 22/07/2016

 

Translated by Reed Brundage

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/07/21/politica/005n1pol

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Zapatistas Reiterate Support for CNTE After Paramilitary Attack

Filed under: Paramilitary, Zapatistas — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:53 am

 

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Zapatistas Reiterate Support for CNTE After Paramilitary Attack

 

ezln2013.jpg_1718483346Zapatistas stand under the Zapatista flag during 20th anniversary celebrations of the armed indigenous insurgency in Oventic December 31, 2013. | Photo: Reuters

 

“If evicted, they will return. Time and time again. It turns out that down here, there is no fatigue,” read the letter.

Mexico’s Zapatistas stood behind the striking CNTE teachers whose blockade was attacked Wednesday by a masked group, calling the attack a “definitive disaster” in an open letter published Thursday.

Ten trucks loaded with a group of masked men came to the camp at highway San Cristóbal-Tuxtla Gutiérrez in Chiapas, where about a hundred protesters had gathered, forcefully evacuating the only camp that civil society and teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers, CNTE, held in the state of Chiapas, Wednesday.

The group at first identified as Zapatistas, but locals knew otherwise, according to those quoted in the letter. The “paramilitaries,” who were members of the PRI-allied Ecologist Green Party, were paid, said the letter. They were protected by policemen, according to witnesses, and “were not, nor are, nor will ever be” Zapatistas.

The Zapatistas have long endorsed the CNTE protests against neoliberal education reform, but Wednesday’s attack made them reiterate their promise to “continue to collect the food and necessities that have been denied them (the teachers) and continue to send them. Again and again.”

“We Zapatistas, will not send junk food to those who fight, but toasted non-transgenic corn, not stolen, but rather made with the work of thousands of men and women who know that being Zapatista is not to hide one’s face, but to show their heart,” read the letter signed by Subcomandante Insurgente Moises and Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.

The letter, dripping with contempt for the actors behind the attacks, also struck a rebellious tone, saying that repression would not stop the movement.

“As the brother Indigenous peoples did in Oaxaca, if evicted, they will return. Time and time again. It turns out that down here, there is no fatigue,” read the letter.

The letter by leading figures in the Zapatista movement pledged to continue to support the striking teachers and their supporters without dictating what steps the movement should take.

“The National Coordinator of Education Workers, as well as the movements of indigenous peoples, (and) neighbourhoods that support the teachers, must understand that, whatever their decision, be it on the route, the destination, the steps and the company they keep, you will receive our respect and greeting,” said the Zapatistas.

Teachers affiliated with the CNTE have been protesting neoliberal education reforms implemented in 2013 by President Enrique Peña Nieto.

A crackdown by police, which left at least nine people dead, drew world-wide condemnation. Talks between the union and the government have failed to produce a resolution.

 

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 22/7/16

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Zapatistas-Reiterate-Support-for-CNTE-After-Paramilitary-Attack-20160722-0001.html

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July 21, 2016

In Chiapas, thousands march in support of the CNTE

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:33 am

 

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In Chiapas, thousands march in support of the CNTE

 

THOUSANDS of INDIGENOUS CATHOLICS MARCH IN SUPPORT of the CNTE IN CHIAPAS 

 

believing-people-with-bannerThe banner reads: We, Believing People of Simojovel, demand that the government does not betray the dialogue with the CNTE like it betrayed the agreements signed in San Andrés with the EZLN.

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By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas

Thousands of Indigenous faithful from almost 50 parishes of the San Cristóbal de las Casas Diocese marched today (Monday) in the Chiapas capital in support of the teachers’ movement.

During the mobilization they demanded that the federal government “not betray” the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), like it betrayed the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) in the San Andrés dialogues.

For the fifth time, the Catholics of Pueblo Creyente marched for several kilometres from the state capital’s eastern exit until reaching the central plaza, where after issuing a pronouncement in favour of the teachers in the occupation, they held a mass, an act in which there were prayers, songs and chants in favour of the teachers’ fight.

During the march Father Gustavo Andrade, from the parish of Venustiano Carranza, and the priest Marcelo Pérez Pérez, from the Simojovel temple, celebrated the realization of this approach between the CNTE and the Secretariat of Governance (Segob) to achieve agreements that permit satisfying the teachers’ demands against the education reform.

Nevertheless, it was Pérez Pérez who stated his concern that the federal government “would betray” its word as it already did with the EZLN, after the agreements from the dialogues in San Andrés in 1996.

“We are worried, we must be attentive and alert so that the government does not betray its word, because it would not be the first time in which the government failed to fulfil the agreements that it signed,” said the parish priest that marched with the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

With drum music, and accompanied by the sound of the conch shell, the faithful arrived in the capital escorted by thousands of teachers who protected their walk for several kilometres until they reached the central plaza.

There on the platform the parish priest of Tila, Heriberto Cruz Vera, asked the teachers not to stop their fight against unjust laws, and if for this fifth time they left their communities, it is because they consider it a peaceful struggle to which they have the need to add themselves.

He asked the priests that don’t leave their parishes to tour the Chiapas communities and observe the misery, poverty and marginalization, the places in which the teachers work in the most undignified conditions.

“We want a reform that really benefits the teachers and the boys and girls of Chiapas, a reform that really puts an end to those destitute conditions in which classes are imparted in Chiapas, not a reform that attacks the teachers’ labour rights,” Cruz Vera said.

Also on the platform was Father Joel Padrón, who along with Cruz Vera is considered a disciple or follower of the work that the late Bishop Emeritus Samuel Ruiz García constructed and left as a legacy.

Joel Padrón is a parish priest who was persecuted and imprisoned in the 1990s, and who the state government of Patrocinio González Garrido accused of promoting the invasion of ranches.

It was during his incarceration 25 years ago that what is called Pueblo Creyente (Believing People) was born as a Catholic organization that defends the rights among the indigenous peoples and communities of Los Altos of Chiapas.

Today, Pueblo Creyente alerted the teachers in a missive not to cede in their fight, because in they have great social support in the state from those who believe and trust in them to achieve that the government retracts the unjust laws, like it did with the so-called 3×3 Law after minimal protest of a group of business owners.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com.mx

Monday, July 18, 2016

http://www.proceso.com.mx/447687/marchan-miles-catolicos-indigenas-en-respaldo-a-la-cnte-en-chiapas

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Minor amendments for UK audience by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

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July 19, 2016

Food as Art of Resistance: the EZLN deliver food to the teachers in Comitan, Chiapas

Filed under: Maize, Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:43 am

 

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Food as Art of Resistance:  the EZLN deliver food to the teachers in Comitan, Chiapas

 

IMG_9840-300x200Comitan Chiapas. 9 July. This morning a commission from the Zapatista “caracol” of La Realidad brought the teachers in resistance food, cooking utensils, and medicine. This support from the men and women rebels of Chiapas takes place in the context of the teachers strike. They are protesting the self-proclaimed “education reform” imposed by President Peña Nieto and supported by Velasco Coello’s state government.

The food supplies are to support the educators belonging to the “Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE – or National Coordinator of Education Workers)[1] and “are the result of the collective farm work of the Zapatista towns, regions and zones, like the MAREZ (Municipios Autónomos Rebeldes Zapatista – Autonomous Rebellious Zapatista municipalities)[2] and the Councils of Good Government. So it’s an ‘honest’ contribution obtained, as the majority of people in Mexico and the world get rewards:  through work,” the EZLN emphasised in a 6 June communique titled “Food as Art of Resistance”.

IMG_9848-300x200Amongst the items donated by the Zapatista Base Communities to Sections 7 to 40 of the dissident teachers’ union are 570 kilos of beans; 420 kilos of rice; 350 kilos of sugar; 15 litres of cooking oil; 21 kilograms of soap; 21 kilograms of salt; 28 kilograms of coffee; 1,571 kilos of non-genetically modified corn; 840 kilos of “tostadas”; 400 kilograms of “pinole”; 5 cooking pots; 5 ladles; 5 storage containers and 4 boxes of medicine.

“The support from the EZLN is an injection of energy into the teachers’ movement and it gives us courage to move forward” stated teachers in Comitan upon receiving the supplies. “The movement is alive and as relevant as when it began the past 15th of May,” added the teachers, now almost 2 months out on strike.

IMG_9897-300x200“In total, the 5 ‘caracoles’ delivered 10 tons of food with a value of approximately 290 thousand Mexican pesos” detailed the EZLN, who also delivered food to the men and women teachers today in San Cristobal de las Casas and yesterday in the community of Palenque and to be delivered tomorrow in the capital of Tuxtla Gutierrez.

 

 

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service for Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

 

http://www.pozol.org/?p=12930

[1]. The Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE) is a teachers union in Mexico founded on December 17, 1979 as alternative to the mainstream Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE) by teachers of the SNTE in the poorer, southern states of Mexico.

[2]. MAREZ represent small self-proclaimed territories under the control of the Zapatista Base Communities as declared in December 1994. The EZLN (military body) states that it does not participate in these spaces of self-government and that its interest is not in taking power and that no member or leader of the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Army can occupy any (civil) positions or roles of authority.

 

IMG_9846-1-995x498

 

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