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Teachers in Guerrero, Mexico Take to the Streets With Sticks and Pipes

Ioan Grillo and Ross McDonnell - The Global Mail
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April 23, 2013

Mexico’s teachers are armed, on the streets, and a big problem for the new government’s reform agenda. The Global Mail caught up with the protestors — facing off against 3,000 federal policemen — on the road to Acapulco. (TheGlobalMail)

Masked protestors face off police with iron bars and stones. In many countries, teacher trade unions are seen as a less confrontational force than physical workers such as miners. But here in Mexico, educators are blocking roads, shutting shopping centers and taking on the police.

This teacher rebellion has erupted in response to the biggest education reform in a century, under the recently inaugurated President Enrique Pena Nieto. The government claims the teacher union is a corrupt force that holds the country back. It has called for a new evaluation system and the firing of those who can’t keep up. These teachers argue the government wants to destroy union power and push wages down.

The Global Mail went to the epicenter of protests in Guerrero, one of Mexico’s poorest states, which is also plagued by drug crime and violence. In state capital Chilpancingo, we found teachers blockading the highway towards the beach resort Acapulco. More than 3,000 federal police were drafted in to keep order.

Read the rest at The Global Mail

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