Chiapas: Government Represses and Attempts to Delegitimize Mactumactza Student Movement

On May 31st, riot police repressed with tear gas the Mactumactza Normal Rural School students who were blocking the highway of the state capital to demand the release of their 19 compañeros who have been detained since May 21st. “What is being committed against student teachers is an injustice. We will continue fighting. We are not going to let the government, the police repress us”, a woman said in a video released by the Indigo Reporte media.

Neither the state nor the federal government have responded to the students’ demands, but the repression by the police authorities against the students continues, they claim. In addition, a smear campaign was launched against the leader of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), Pedro Gomez Bahamaca, and Diego Cadenas Gordillo, a lawyer for the displaced persons from the Chenalho municipality, whom they accuse of “violating one of the fundamental principles of the displaced” by “manipulating” them and sending them to participate in violent acts. They said that both the leader and the activist “abuse the fragility of conscience of the student teachers.”

They also delegitimized the students’ demands for being an “anarchist movement” by accusing them that they have nothing to do with improving educational quality, but that they seek to respond to personal interests.

Faced with this, the CNTE and students from the Normal School began a mobilization that will go beyond June 6th, the date on which local and federal elections will be held, and announced the installation of an indefinite sit-in in the central square of Tuxtla Gutierrez to demand the opening of a dialogue with President Lopez Obrador and Governor Rutilio Escandon, in order to respond to their demands.

Gomez Bahamaca also reported that on Wednesday, June 2nd, that a national march is planned that will depart from the Angel of Independence to the Zocalo in Mexico City where the main demand will be the immediate release of the Mactumactza students, imprisoned in the Amate penitentiary, as well as the freedom of two representatives of the indigenous displaced from the Puebla ejido, Chenalho municipality, imprisoned in the same penitentiary.

For more information in Spanish:

Movilizaciones de la CNTE y normalistas irán más allá del 6 de junio (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 1 de junio de 2021)

La liberación de normalistas en Chiapas provoca enfrentamientos entre estudiantes y la policía estatal (El País, 31 de mayo de 2021)

Activista acicate de normalistas, en Tuxtla Gutiérrez (NVI Noticias, 31 de mayo de 2021)

Normalistas ignoran acuerdo y endurecen exigencias (Cuarto Poder, 1 de junio de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: 74 Students from Mactumatza Normal Rural School Released (May 25, 2021)
Chiapas: 95 Student Teachers from Mactumactza Arrested, 20 Disappeared (May 20, 2021)
Chiapas: 17 Student Teachers and Two Displaced from Chenalho to Face Trial; Protests for Release Continue (May 28, 2021)
Guerrero: CNDH Expresses Concern over Defamation of Vidulfo Rosales, Attorney in Ayotzinapa Case, by Former Officials (APRIL 12, 2021)
National/Guerrero: Sixth Anniversary of Disappearance of Ayotzinapa Students (September 30, 2020)

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