Thousands protest Nieto’s education reforms in Mexico, stage encampment in Zocalo
September 2, 2013
Thousands of people have taken to streets of Mexico City to protest against reforms proposed by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
On Sunday, scores of students and thousands of teachers staged a demonstration in the capital to condemn reforms in the education sector.
A separate demonstration was also held in the capital against the president’s plan to open the state-controlled energy sector to foreign investment.
Riot police fired teargas at masked protesters, who were trying to block the lawmakers from entering the congress. According to the student movement Yo Soy 132, at least six people were arrested during the preotests.
Around 10,000 teachers have camped in the historic Zocalo square for the past two weeks. A protest, staged last week, forced Mexican congressmen to hold a meeting in a convention center as the congress building had been encircled by teachers.
The congress has already approved some changes to the constitution in an effort to overhaul the country’s education system.
On Sunday, the lawmakers were supposed to vote on new rules, which would oblige teachers to take mandatory performance tests to get jobs or promotions.
In the past two weeks, Mexicans have led several protests which mainly targeted President Nieto’s shake-up of the education system in the country
One part of Nieto’s reforms include union busting the most powerful teachers unions, National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), in the country. Teachers say the president & his administration are blaming teachers for poor academic performance, as he continues to cut budgets for schools, especially in rural, indigenous communities.
Teachers, along with students & supporters, have blocked major roadways, occupied the Zocalo & have disrupted Congress’ efforts to pass the new education reforms.