By: Elio Henríquez
San Cristóbal De Las Casas, Chiapas
Teachers from Local 7 of the National Education Workers Union (SNTE), adhered to the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), in Chiapas, declared themselves: “in rebellion and disobedience” as long as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will not abrogate the education reform, and go from ‘speeches to deeds.’ Not one step back, no one splits here,” they said.
Thousands of teachers, with the support of teachers’ college students and members of social organizations (some 100,000 according to organizers of the mobilization) marched yesterday from the east side of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital of Chiapas, towards the center of the city, where they held a rally.
There, the leader of Local 7, Pedro Gómez Bahamaca, said that the education reform is still in effect and is being applied against teachers of that local union.
The permanent state assembly of Local 7 ratified “the disavowal of and demand for the resignation of Rosa Aída Domínguez, head of the Education Ministry, and of José Hernández de León, undersecretary of Federal Education.”
“It’s not enough that the president (López Obrador) repeats here and there that the badly named education reform will be cancelled; as long as the Constitution does not reflect the absolute abrogation of the reform and its secondary laws (regulations), this will continue being a mere campaign promise or media speech to disqualify and stigmatize the struggle of the CNTE,” he explained.
Although López Obrador subscribes to an agreement to “cancel” the education reform and send the initiative for reform of Constitutional Articles 3, 31 and 73, and although “every day he states to the media that the Peña reform will be cancelled, while the new law isn’t promulgated, and the Peña reform remains in effect, they can apply it,” he said.
Gómez Bahamaca maintained that the initiative sent to the Congress of the Union by the Federal Executive, which is maintained in at least 15 initiatives of the government, the political parties, businessmen and private parties, “is a simulation, and it’s probable that they won’t take away what’s punitive and the labor defenselessness will remain.”
He said that the intention “is to impose a governmental reform; there is no other explanation, because the analysis indicates that each part of the third constitutional article, especially the 73rd, they didn’t take anything off of it, it remains complete; that’s where the secondary laws come from.”
He pointed out that: “the executing arm” is the Chiapas Ministry of Education because the calls for applicants and job promotions are carried out within the educational reform’s guidelines.
“We ask that they save us from the application of the reform, labor activity is definitely in danger if they apply it to us, without the need of police.”
He added that the government must explain how it will stop the education reform, because it is the current law, there is not a transition or opinion from the Secretary of Education or from the President of the Republic, and how do they guarantee us our rights?
The teachers declared a “maximum alert,” installed themselves in a state assembly and reiterated that they will hold the protest march today. And they warned: “the resistance and disobedience will continue. Not one step back, no one splits here!”
For his part, Governor Rutilio Escandón Cadenas said that: “there is no longer a reason to protest, the badly-named education reform already fell. Now those who may want to protest freely may do so, but they may do so against corruption.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee