MEXICO ROADBLOCKS, following more than a month of protest, Teachers Union leaders are keeping roadblocks in at least eight points of the popular tourist state of Oaxaca as part of their demonstrations against sweeping education reforms. In neighbouring Chiapas, roadblocks also continue to block the highway that connects the Indigenous areas and popular tourist sites with the rest of the state.
The protests oppose President Peña Nieto’s education reforms, which institute standardised evaluations for teachers and strip the Teachers Union’s power to control hiring, firing, and promotions. Protesters say the teacher evaluations are poorly designed and ignore the reality and resources in poor and rural areas, and therefore thousands of teachers who do not obtain a satisfactory rating may be unjustifiably dismissed.
Because of this, Teachers Union members have maintained roadblocks and protests in different areas in the states of Michoacan, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Yucatan, Morelos, and Chiapas. They demand the dissolution of the allegedly marginalising Education Reform. Teachers have also protested the lack of official response to these conflicts. They are demanding the release of their leaders, who have been detained in protests, and seek to punish those responsible for the events in the municipality of Asuncion Nochixtlan, Oaxaca, where on June 19th, nine people were killed by police in what many recognise as an act of government repression.
Mexico’s Interior Ministry has given some proposals in order to form a panel of education experts and teachers to assess the government’s Education Plan, however they are not committed to repeal the entire reform. Recently, Teachers Union leaders have stated that as long as the State Permanent Assembly does not present new proposals for action, the roadblocks will continue.
All routes from and to Oaxaca are blocked by the protesters and also some routes in Chiapas. We do not know how this situation will evolve and how long the protests will go on. If you are planning to travel to the south of Mexico, please take this into consideration. For more updated information, please contact our Operations team.