Mexican police attacked teachers striking against neoliberal education reforms in the southern state of Oaxaca, killing at least nine people and leaving dozens more injured, teleSUR Correspondent Fernando Camacho reported on Monday.
Police were attempting to evict teachers from a road blockade on the Oaxaca-Puebla highway in the municipality of Nochixtlan when gunfire erupted, leading to violent clashes that lasted approximately four hours.
Teachers from the dissident CNTE union, also known as Section 22, had set up the blockade as part of protests over an education reform implemented by President Enrique Peña Nieto and the arrest of several of the unions' leaders over the past week.
In a press conference from the Mexican capital, a spokesperson for the union said the dead included Andres Aguilar Sanabria, 23, and Santiago Jimenez Aylin, 28, who have been identified as trainee teacher students. The spokesperson said there was a third fatality but did not provide any details.
The union spokesperson blamed the police forces who participated in the eviction for the three deaths, calling it an “attack,” and asked the government to engage in dialogue with the striking teachers.
A journalist in Oaxaca was shot dead Sunday afternoon after covering the teacher’s blockade of a main highway.
Eligio Ramos Zarate, reporter at El Sur that went by the pseudonym Guillermo Parie, was shot in the neck by two motorcyclists who are still unidentified as he was photographing the holdup of a convenient store nearby.
Raul Cano Lopez, brother of the director of Hechos, another newspaper in Juchitan, Oaxaca, was also killed in gunfire. His brother said that he was just sitting at the bus stop. One unidentified person was injured.
The state agency for investigations said it has not confirmed any motive, but that Ramos Zarate had connections to someone who “supposedly committed illegal acts,” reported El Proceso.
The state of Oaxaca has been under fire during escalating strikes by the SNTE teachers union, affiliated with the CNTE, against neoliberal education reforms.