Thursday, June 2, 2016

Striking Mexican Teachers Take Cops Hostage

OAXACA, Mexico – Members of Mexico’s militant CNTE teachers union took six police officers hostage Wednesday in this southern city.

EFE witnessed the incident as it unfolded at a checkpoint the teachers set up on one of the main roads leading into Oaxaca, capital of the likenamed state.

The six officers, all assigned to the state investigative agency, were traveling in an unmarked SUV, but the CNTE members at the checkpoint recognized them as law enforcement personnel when they spotted their guns.

The union members forced the cops to get out of the vehicle and pose for photographs next to signs accusing of them of “repressing the teachers” and of clandestinely photographing protesters.

The head of the investigative agency, Jaciel Vazquez, told the media he went to the scene and assured the CNTE activists that they would not be prosecuted if they released the agents.

The agents have not been harmed, he said.

Oaxaca state is home to more than one-third of the CNTE’s roughly 200,000 members nationwide and has been a major battleground in the conflict between teachers and authorities implementing a controversial overhaul of the Mexican educational system.

In Mexico City, CNTE members continued a weeks-long protest to press for the rollback of the educational “reform” enacted by President Enrique Peña Nieto, even as the government prepares to fire more than 3,000 teachers for taking part in the strike.

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