Angered at the violent repression unleashed by police against teachers, unions in Mexico have put their members on maximum alert.
A teachers’ union in Mexico announced Thursday that it will escalate its tactics, declaring itself on maximum alert and preparing its members for civil disobedience and rebellion.
The National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) issued its warning in response to the violent repression against teachers by federal police in Acapulco earlier this week.
Federal Police violently attacked teachers Tuesday who had staged a road block on a highway near the airport in Acapulco, Guerrero.
“In the face of repression we have a strong weapon, consciousness together with organization,” said Juan Jose Ortega Madrigal, a leader of the CNTE in Michoacan. “The government is desperate and repression is the only weapon they have left,” he added.
An official with the Guerrero State Coordinator of Education Workers (CETEG) reported that 12 protestors are still missing and four female teachers were raped by police.
“We have four (female) teachers raped by the Federal Police. Yesterday they broke their silence, they said that during the repression they were taken away in a van, they took them to a dark place and they were raped,” said Manuel Salvador Rosas of the CETEG. He added that one of the rape survivors is still hospitalized.
Claudio Castillo Peña, a retired teacher, well-known for his role leading chants during rallies, was allegedly killed by police during the attack. Salvador stated that, due to his medical condition, Castillo traveled in a vehicle during protests, and he claims to have video evidence of police pulling Castillo off a vehicle and assaulting him.
The CETEG intends to report the crime, though they are are not hopeful that justice will be achieved in Mexico; they say they will turn to international bodies if necessary.
Confidence in Mexico’s justice system has been shaken after 43 students were forcibly disappeared, with relatives of the missing students claiming that the state was involved in their disappearance. However, Mexico’s attorney general declared the case closed, announcing all 43 were confirmed dead and no further leads were available.
The CNTE has called for protests and actions in repudiation of the violent repression by police and to demand justice for the forcibly disappeared 43 students, who have been missing for five months.