CNTE blockades continue in Michoacán

Despite receiving MXN$2.17 billion in resources, some teachers continue to block railroads in Uruapan and Pátzcuaro

AMLO grows impatient as CNTE blockades continue
3 million tonnes of freight have been affected, resulting in losses of more than MXN$1 billion a day - Photo: Rodolfo Ayala/EL UNIVERSAL
English 08/02/2019 13:43 Newsroom Mexico City Carlos Arrieta & Astrid Rivera/EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 13:43
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25 days have passed since Mexico’s National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) decided to block railroads in the state of Michoacán, and although both federal and state governments have released around MXN$2.17 billion, the teachers have not yet lifted blockades in the Pátzcuaro and Uruapan municipalities.

For the third time, the 18th Section of the CNTE has agreed to lift the remaining blockades and resume negotiations with both federal and state governments “to resolve the teachers’ conflict in Michoacán.”

Representatives from all 22 regions in the state and the teachers’ union agreed to implement a “tactical retreat” and continue to work with federal authorities for the resolution of the conflict.

“The 18th Section of the CNTE disclaims relations with any group or individual that deviates from assignments determined by our authorities,” they claimed through a bulletin.

Last December, the Mexican Federation granted resources of MXN$1 billion to the government of Michoacán to cover expenses within the education sector, including December salaries and a part of the Christmas bonus.

Following the teachers’ conflict, the state government provided another MXN$1 billion on January 28 to cover for monthly wages and the remainder of the Christmas bonus.

The State Minister of Education, Alberto Frutis Solís, informed on Wednesday that the government had released a Single National Compensation worth MXN95 million, plus another MXN$80 million for rural teachers.

However, despite receiving all those resources, the teachers of the National Front for the fight for Socialism (FNLS) and the National Executive Democracy Committee (CEND) only lifted their blockades in the Pátzcuaro railroad for a few hours and then put them back Tuesday night, while the blockades in Uruapan haven’t been moved. In both cases, around 40 teachers are responsible for blocking the train tracks.

Sources from the 18th Section of the CNTE claimed that said groups had hampered negotiations between the government and the teachers’ union.

During the past 25 days of blockades, around 10 thousand containers have been stranded and more than 300 train runs have been stopped. Plus, 3 million tonnes of freight have been affected, resulting in losses of more than MXN$1 billion a day.

Members of the Official Rural Teachers’ Colleges in the State of Michoacán (ONOEM) announced that they would join the protests of the 18th Section of the CNTE in case there is no agreement with both federal and state authorities for the payment of alleged debts.

Earlier today, a group of the CNTE arrived at the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) in Morelia, in support of their peers from Lázaro Cárdenas, who were summoned by the FGR as responsible for the blockades shortly after the company Kansas City Southern filed a lawsuit against them.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has now filed a complaint before the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), calling on teachers to lift their blockades in Michoacán, though he ruled out intervention by the Federal Police to remove the blockade.

“We will not resort to force. The attitude that some teachers have assumed is a result of a radical-left stance. Just as there are right-wing extremist, there are also left-wing extremist,” he stated.


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