National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform

October 4, 2013

DSCF1389

Sit-in of teachers in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Photo @SIPAZ

On 11 September, dissident teachers from several Mexican states (Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chiapas, Durango, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Querétaro, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Yucatán, and Veracruz) joined the protests organized by the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE), which marched starting at 10am in Mexico City toward Los Pinos.  The Secretary for Public Education that day distributed the decrees which are to reform the General Law on Education demanding the expeditious institution of the laws recommended by the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education and the General Union of Professional Teaching Services, which entered in law on 12 September.

In Guerrero, some 5000 teachers from the State Coordination of State Educational Workers (CETEG) marched on the Sol Highway to protest the educational reform and its secondary laws.  In the protest participated teachers from the central and mountainous regions of Guerrero, principally, who went on strike in response to the call for mobilization on the part of the CNTE.

In Oaxaca, the Unions of Workers from the “Benito Juárez” Autonomous University of Oaxaca (STEUABJO) and of Educational Workers from the Oaxaca State Conalep (SUTDCEO) held a 12-hour strike to observe the national general strike called for by the CNTE.  Similarly, the Unified Front for Struggle (FUL) and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), teaching students, and retired teachers participated in marches, occupations of buses, and blockades of the TV Azteca office, preventing the exit of dozens of workers.

In Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, approximately 1,500 teachers from Sections 7 and 40 marched, closing the four access-routes to the capital during the entirety of the day.  15 days after having begun the mobilizations and protest actions against educational reform, the teachers on that day added to their demand a rejection of the fiscal and energy reforms, in parallel terms to social organizations and campesinos.  By means of social networks and text messages, on 10 September there began a calumnious campaign in the media opposed to the teachers’ movement in Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Maestros de Guerrero marchan sobre Autopista del Sol (Informador, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Maestros preparan megamarcha en Guerrero (La Prensa, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Marchan maestros en los estados contra la Reforma Educativa (Excelsior, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Protestan profesores en 17 estados en apoyo a la CNTE (Animal Político, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Marchan Ceteg y MPG contra las reformas educativa y energética (La Jornada de Guerrero, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Inician maestros paro nacional (Proceso, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

A través de Facebook, amenazan de muerte a maestros chiapanecos (Proceso, 10 de septiembre de 2013)

La mirada femenina del derecho a la educación en México, por tres maestras de Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 9 de septiembre de 2013)

En Oaxaca, sindicatos y organizaciones realizaron manifestaciones de apoyo a la CNTE (Página3.mx, 11 septiembre de 2013)


Oaxaca: Commemoration of seventh anniversary of APPO

June 24, 2013

imagen de la marcha @ Proceso

image of the march @ Proceso

On 14 June in Oaxaca City, teachers from Section 22 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE) carried out a march to commemorate the events of 14 June 2006.  On this day, state police tried unsuccessfully to forcibly displace a sit-in of teachers that was being held in the Zócalo of the Oaxacan capital.

The teachers, who concluded the mobilization with a rally in the Zócalo of Oaxaca City, demanded justice for the 27 who were murdered in the social conflict of 2006, as well as judgment and punishment of those responsible for the repression against the movement which took place at that time, particularly former governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (2004-2010).  The statistics of participation for the march differ, with some estimates claiming 20,000 teachers, and others 70,000.  In their march toward the center of the city, the teachers removed electoral propaganda from all parties and defaced the local office of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).  Furthermore, they called for a boycott of local elections for deputies and mayors (7 July) as well as the official Guelaguetza, and additionally announced plans for a popular Guelaguetza, from 22 to 24 July.  During the teachers’ mobilization, two incidents occurred: first, six teachers were injured in a car accident, while later three others were hurt when they were stoned, and later were hospitalized.

The failed displacement of 2006 marked the beginning of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) and the social conflict in Oaxaca that lasted until 25 November of that year, when units of the federal police displaced the protestors and arrested more than 100 persons.

For more information (in Spanish):

Proceso: Maestros de Oaxaca conmemoran desalojo de 2006; exigen cárcel para Ulises Ruiz (14/06/2013)

La Jornada: Conmemoran profesores de Oaxaca el desalojo fallido que dio origen a la APPO (15/06/2013)

Boletín de CODIGO-DH: JUSTICIA! 14 de junio no se olvida (14/06/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Sixth anniversary of the beginning of the 2006 social conflict (20 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Presumed killer of Brad Will is detained (5 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Urgent Action for new harassment against Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno (30 September 2010)


Oaxaca: Confrontation between protestors and police during visit of Felipe Calderón – teachers mobilize themselves

February 20, 2011

On 15 February, protestors comprised largely of teachers from Section 22 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE) and other social activists clashed with state and federal police while attempting to enter the zócalo of Oaxaca de Juárez to express their rejection of the visit by President Felipe Calderón to the city. At least 28 people were injured, including teachers, journalsits, photographers, and police. The mobilization was organized in response to the presidential decree made on 14 February that tuition for private schools would be made tax-free, a move that social sectors have interpreted as yet another assault on public education.

The following day, teachers from Section 22 of the SNTE struck in Oaxaca de Juárez and several regions of the state, blocking more than 37 highway points of the Oaxacan state in protest of the repression. In the capital, directors of the democratic teachers union led by Azael Santiago Chepi challenged the declarations made the same day by Governor Gabino Cué that “infiltrator groups provoked violence,” affirming this to be “a demagogical argument to justify repression.” On the other hand, they demanded the resignation of three state functionaries as a condition for the re-starting of dialogue with the state government. The State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) initiated seven investigations into crimes committed during the confrontations, while 17 members of the popular movement who had been detained were released because they were found not to have committed any crime.

On 17 February, Gabino Cué Monteagudo rejected calls to apologize to the state teachers union as well as to sack Irma Piñeyro Arias, secretary of Government, Marco Tulio López Escamilla, secretary of Public Security, and Bernardo Vásquez Guzmán, director of the State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca. He claimed that “if someone should be apologized to for the situation lived recently in the center of the city of Oaxaca [the confrontation on Tuesday between state and federal police and teachers], it would be to the people in general, who have given us the responsibility of assuming a role in the process of democratic transition—both to the authorities and other sectors.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Teachers and police engage in confrontation during visit by Calderón to Oaxaca (La Jornada, 15 February)

Teachers reject visit of Calderón to Oaxaca (El Universal, 15 February)

Journalist is shot in Oaxaca (El Universal, 15 February)

Secretary of security is beaten in Oaxaca (El Universal, 15 February)

Teachers announce mega-sit-in in Oaxaca (El Universal, 15 February)

SNTE blocks 37 highway-points in Oaxaca (El Universal, 16 February)

Cué sees radicals infiltrating confrontations (El Universal, 16 February)

“2006 cannot return to Oaxaca” (El Universal, 16 February)

Police and activists clash in Oaxaca; 18 are injured (El Universal, 16 February)

Cué rejects calls for apologies and resignation of 3 officials, as demanded by dissidents (La Jornada, 18 February)


Oaxaca: son of activist Marcelino Coache threatened with death

February 7, 2011

On 31 January, Edgar Coache Verano, son to Marcelino Coache, received a text-message threatening him with death.  This recent death-threat is the latest in a series of acts of intimidation and harassment directed at the Oaxacan political activist Marcelino Coache and his family.  On 4 March 2009, Marcelino Coache, member of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) was kidnapped in the city of Oaxaca.  After being tortured, he was released the following morning.  Also in March 2009, several unidentified men traveling in a truck followed Edgar Coache Verano and threatened him as he was returning home from school.  In April and August 2009, Reyna Rivera, the wife of Marcelino Coache, received several threatening text-messages; rights-defenders in Oaxaca who have supported Marcelino Coache have received similar messages.  On 8 May 2009, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requested that the Mexican government grant protection to Marcelino Coache.  Regardless, the Mexican government has to date not provided him with effective protection, and those responsible for the death-threats and acts of intimidation continue at large.

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgent Action of Amnesty International (AI, 2 February 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: new intimidation directed at Alba Cruz (18 January 2011)

Oaxaca: attack on union leader Marcelino Coache (20 May 2010)

Oaxaca: Reports-police operations/new aggressions against the Human Rights Center/precautionary measures for activist and his family (14 May 2009)

Oaxaca: New threats in the case of Marcelino Coache (4 May 2009)


Oaxaca: Urgent Action for new harassment against Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno

September 30, 2010

During the afternoon of 24 September, the home of Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno, in the municipality of Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Oaxaca, was raided by strangers.  Martínez Moreno explained that nothing of value was stolen, but that those who entered did so by forcing the lock; they also left a number of official documents disorganized.  These documents are related to denunciations presented by Juan Manuel Martínez before the local attorney general’s office against previous acts of intimidation.  According to Juan Manuel Martínez, he and his family have considered it necessary to move houses three times due to the constant intimidation to which they have been subjected.  His wife has received threatening phone-calls, and the family has seen armed men watching their house and the school that his children attend.

Juan Manuel Martínez was detained in 2008 on the charge of murdering the U.S. journalist Brad Will during the 2006 conflict, but he was released in February 2010 when a federal tribunal conclued that charges against him were false.

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgent Action 25 November Committee: New act of intimidation against Juan Manuel Martínez


Oaxaca: more violence in the Triqui region following the killing of Anastasio Juárez Hernández, leader of UBISORT and brother to Rufino Juárez Hernández

August 13, 2010

Rufino Juárez Hernández (@Diario Despertar)

During the night of Thursday 29 July was killed Anastasio Juárez Hernández, designated municipal agent of San Juan Copalá by the Union for Social Welfare of the Triqui Region (UBISORT) and brother to the director of the organization, Rufino Juárez Hernández.  According to his brother, Anastasio was killed by gunfire while in his house, located in the center of San Juan Copalá, although representatives of the administration of San Juan Copalá claim the murder to have taken place elsewhere, in Juxtlahuaca. Juárez Hernández blamed the killing on leaders of MULT-I–José Ramírez Flores, Miguel Ángel Álvarez Velasco, Eugenio Martínez López, and Jesús Martínez; he has also accused Alejandro Encinas, deputy of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), the Catholic Church in Oaxaca, Section 22 of the Oaxacan teachers’ union, and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) of being the “intellectually responsible” for the murder.  Surprisingly, he also extended responsibility for the murder to Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, present governor of the state, whom others have indicated as having strong ties to UBISORT.

Representatives from the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá affirmed that Anastasio was killed in the city of Juxtlahuaca following a conflict among PRI-members regarding control of the municipal government there; it is understood that the conflict also involved taxi-drivers and local merchants.  At mid-day on Friday 30 July, between 100 and 300 units of the State Agency of Investigation (AEI) and of the State Preventive Police (PEP) entered the autonomous municipality, as they claimed, to “support the prosecutor and investigators to find the corpse [of Anastasio].” Representatives of the autonomous municipality asserted, for their part, that the police were accompanied by 400 “heavily armed” men from UBISORT, and that both groups “entered with guns blazing,” resulting in the injuring of two girls, aged 15 and 17, and two arrested.  Authorities also denounced that members of MULT joined the attack; they have claimed that the goal of this incursion into San Juan Copalá was to bring the body of Anastasio to the autonomous municipality to make it seem that it had been the residents of Copalá who had killed him.

In a communiqué, the Regional Center for Human Rights Bartolomé Carrasco Briseño (Barca) repudiated the police incursion into San Juan Copalá, calling on civil human-rights organizations to “manifest their rejection of this aggression against the autonomous municipality.” Referring itself to the caravan that attempted to reach San Juan Copalá on 8 June, Barca declared that “it is contradictory that, when security-measures were requested so that the Bety and Jiry [sic] humanitarian caravan could enter to leave basic-goods, the state did not fulfill its responsibility and impeded that the mission be allowed to continue.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Anastasio Juárez, municipal agent of San Juan Copala, is killed (La Jornada, 31 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)


Oaxaca: violent eviction of vendors associated with the APPO in Oaxaca de Juárez

July 22, 2010

The zócalo of Oaxaca de Juárez, following the police operation (@ Noticias de Oaxaca)

On Tuesday 19 July–one of the first days of the celebration of the traditional festival Guelaguetza in the state of Oaxaca–conflicts broke out in the zócalo and the Alameda de León in Oaxaca de Juárez between vendors and units of the municipal police.  According to witnesses, at around 11am on the 19th municipal inspectors arrived at la Alameda accompanied by police-officers; they demanded that informal vendors associated with the organization “June 14″ leave the place, a demand that the vendors refused to obey.  In response to this, a police operation to displace nearly 100 vendors from the zócalo was undertaken, as between 100 and 300 police units employed tear-gas and pepper-spray toward this end.  Witnesses say that some of the vendors responded by throwing rocks, chairs, and tables at the Terranova restaurant, property of relatives of the PRI ex-candidate for mayorship of the city, Beatriz Rodríguez Casasnova, while masked youth confronted the police.  Once the police operation ended, police-officers stationed themselves in both places to prevent the return of the vendors.  The operations as a whole resulted in two people being injured and eight being detained; among the eight were four minors.

Those who were evicted, in addition to those who were subject to the dismantling of their kiosks by the police, pertain to the social organizations Venustiano Carranza, June 14, Organization of Conscious Vendors in Support of the Magisterium, and APPO, in addition to independent vendors.  The displaced vendors had installed themselves in the zócalo and la Alameda last Friday in preparation for the festivities associated with the Guelaguetza celebration.  Alberto Quezadas Jiménez, chief of Oaxaca’s state police, stated that the deployment of the police had been requested by municipal authorities, given that the vendors in question lacked official permission to remain in the plaza.  The governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, said in an interview on Tuesday that the eviction of the vendors sought to “guarantee security for tourism and Oaxacans.”  Following the events, Ruiz Ortiz made a call for tranquility to prevail and declared that the Guelaguetza celebrations should continue without pause.

For more information (in Spanish):

Eviction in the Zócalo (El Imparcial, 20 July)

Violent Guelaguetza (El Imparcial, 20 July)

Eviction of vendors in the zócalo of Oaxaca leaves 8 arrested (La Jornada, 19 July)

Vendors are evicted in the capital of Oaxaca; 2 injured, 8 arrested (La Jornada, 19 July)

Ulises Ruiz visits the zócalo following the eviction of vendors (Noticias de Oaxaca, 19 July)


Oaxaca: attack on union leader Marcelino Coache

May 20, 2010

On 10 May, Marcelino Coache Verano, an activist associated with the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) and secretary of the union of laborers of Oaxaca de Juarez’s City Hall, was threatened with death by two armed strangers who forcibly entered the offices of the union.  One struck the union-leader with a knife in the abdomen and a leg; the injuries, however, were not life-threatening.  Later in the week, Coache announced that the Federal Attorney General’s Office had launched an investigation to find those responsible for the crime.  It is worth mentioning that Coache has, together with other APPO leaders, feared for his security since his having been imprisoned in  2006 and again in 2008, in addition to the kidnapping and torture to which he was subject in March 2009.  In light of this latter attack, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted him preventive measures in May 2009.

For more information (in Spanish):

Attack on union leader in Oaxaca (La Jornada, 12 May)

Marcelino Coache accuses URO of attempting to kill him (Frente Popular.wordpress.com, 12 May)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Reports-police operations/new aggressions against the Human Rights Center/precautionary measures for activist and his family (14 May 2009)

Oaxaca: New threats in the case of Marcelino Coache (4 May 2009)

(Foto: http://www.diariopm.com)


Oaxaca: Accused in the Brad Will case released from jail

February 22, 2010

February 19th, 2010.

After 16 months in prison, Juan Manuel Martinez Moreno – accused of the 2006 murder of American videographer Brad Will – was released from prison on February 18. A protection order that was granted in December 2009 was finally approved because of a lack of evidence against Martinez Moreno. The Attorney General appealed the protection order, which meant Martinez Moreno spent an additional month and a half in jail. The 25th of November Committee which is responsible for Martinez Moreno’s defence, said in a statement: “Today finally, the fact that there is no basis for keeping Juan Manuel Martinez Moreno in jail has prevailed. It’s obvious he is innocent and he’s been held hostage by the state to silence the government of the United States, who have demanded the hand-over Brad Will’s murderer. (…) From a legal perspective, Juan Manuel’s release lays bare the Mexican justice system. It’s an example of the lack of a formal and professional investigation, as well as the criminalization of social protest given that the evidence and witnesses were fabricated and manipulated.”

For more information (In Spanish):

El acusado de matar a Brad Will, libre (Jornada, 19 de febrero)

Excarcelan al implicado en el caso Brad Will (Milenio, 19 de febrero)

Juez ordena liberar a único implicado en el caso de Will (Universal, 19 de febrero)

Comunicado del Comité 25 de Noviembre: La libertad de Juan Manuel, desnuda la parcial actuación de la Justicia en México

More information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Members of the APPO accused in the Brad Will case (October, 2008)


Oaxaca: Supreme Court decision in Oaxaca case

October 23, 2009

La Policía Federal Preventiva en la ciudad de Oaxaca en 2006 Fuente: www.dokumentarfoto.de

On October 14th the Supreme Court of Mexico (SCJN) made a decision regarding human rights violations by authorities during the Oaxaca conflict of 2006 and 2007. The decision finds the governor at the time, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, responsible for human rights violations.

With a vote of seven to four, the Supreme Court holds the Oaxacan governor responsible for human rights violations committed by state police during the conflict that lasted from May 2006 until June 2007. However, a proposal submitted by Ministers Juan N. Silva Meza, Jose de Jesus Gudino Pelayo and Jose Ramon Cossio was rejected. Their proposal sought to include Vicente Fox, then president of Mexico, as well as Minister of the Interior, Carlos Abascal and Public Security Minister, Eduardo Medina Mora in the list of those responsible for allowing an unmanageable situation that exposed the population to situations that put their human rights at risk. The Supreme Court Minister Jose Ramon Cossio said now it will be up to Felipe Calderon and the Mexican Congress to decide whether or not they will proceed with a political trial against the Oaxacan Governor.

Ruiz Ortiz said he disagrees with the Supreme Court decision, calling into question whether or not Fox should have been included. Members of the Popular Assembly for the People of Oaxaca (APPO), who had asked for Ruiz Ortiz’s resignation during the conflict, insisted on the Oaxacan governor’s responsibility for human rights violations. The Secretary of section 22 of the National Education Workers Union (SNTE) Gabriel Lopez Chinas, said the ex-secretary general Jorge Franco Vargas and the ex-public attorney Rosa Lizbeth Cana Cadeza should also be put to trial for being the operators “of unlimited repression against the Oaxacan people.” Section 22 of the SNTE – which brings together teachers from all over Oaxaca – suffered repression from the state government on June 14th, 2006. That repression resulted in the creation of the APPO, which integrated different social, political and indigenous organizations that confronted state authorities during the second half of 2006 to demand the resignation of the governor, whom they accused of suppressing social, political and indigenous organizations.

For more information:

More Information from SIPAZ:

THE SOCIO-POLITICAL SITUATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN OAXACA (August 2007) 



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