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News Article

Protests Prevent AMLO Morning Conference/Crime in Chiapas

By Paloma Duran | Fri, 08/27/2021 - 11:52

CNTE prevents López Obrador from arriving at his morning conference. Gov. of Chiapas Rutilio Escandón began the morning conference without President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was unable to access the facilities of the VII Military Region in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, due to a protest by members of the National Coordinator of Workers of Education (CNTE). López Obrador sent a video saying that he decided not to enter by force and that he had already offered the protesters an opportunity to talk with Ministry of Education authorities; however, the proposal was rejected. “A group of teachers from the CNTE of Chiapas prevented us from entering the facilities, unless we attend to them immediately and resolve their demands. I cannot allow this because the president of Mexico cannot be held hostage by anyone." At 8 a.m., López Obrador was finally able to enter the facility.

Around 500 teachers dissatisfied with the Ministry of Education participated in the protest. The teachers argue that since December 2020, the discussions with López Obrador have been suspended and there has been no solution to their demands. In addition, the protesters argue that the rights of indigenous groups, such as the Choles, Tseltales, Tostsiles, Zoques, Tojolabales and other linguistic groups, are being violated by the USICAMM law. According to the law, state and federal ministries of education can assign and modify educational vacancies, regardless of the years that some employees have worked or their needs.

Chiapas ready to return to face-to-face classes? Escandón emphasized that despite the protests, Chiapas is ready to return to face-to-face classes and stressed that the authorities are guaranteeing a safe return to schools for students and educational personnel. "We have worked so that all schools are ready to begin face-to-face classes on Aug. 30. More than 19,000 schools in Chiapas are reopening and we are ensuring that it is safe."

The Ministry of Education in Chiapas announced that several schools will reopen on Aug. 30. Escandón has said that it is vital that children return to face-to-face classes to improve their education. He also thanked teachers, the authorities and parents who have supported the government's decision. However, the CNTE said that, according to the result of the National Survey, 81.7 percent of parents and teachers do not agree with the decision to return to face-to-face classes, due to COVID-19 contagions. As a result, CNTE has demanded the talks with the government to hold virtual classes until contagions decrease.

Chiapas ranks second among the states with the lowest crime incidence in Mexico. Escandón announced that Chiapas continues to be the entity with the second-lowest crime incidence in Mexico, which has been achieved thanks to the support of the federal government. “The general incidence, as well as high-impact crimes, have dropped significantly in the three years of my government in Chiapas. Much has been accomplished because federal and state authorities work closely together to address major security challenges."

Recently, self-defense groups, such as "El Machete," have been created in Chiapas, to expel hitmen, drug traffickers and organized crime in the state. Around 83 communities and indigenous groups support the El Machete group as it "defends their right to life." On July 26, in Pantelho, the group burned 12 houses and arrested 21 men, accusing them of being part of organized crime. They later asked the Prosecutor's Office to investigate the detainees; however, the authorities rejected the request for lack of order. As a result, the group took control of the town, causing the displacement of more than 3,205 people who have fled due to the violence. Authorities like López Obrador have disapproved of the creation of these groups that want to take "justice into their own hands."

Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Gobierno de México, Milenio
Photo by:   Gobierno de México
Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst