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Canadian PM Trudeau raises killing of Mexican teachers during press conference with Mexican president in Ottawa.

Thank you to the hundreds of people who responded to IDEA’s appeal below, and called on Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau to urge Mexican President Peña Nieto to cease the repression of Mexican teachers and negotiate with teachers’ movement spokespeople of the CNTE.  It WORKED!!

(He might not have been as strong as we would have hoped, but the fact that Trudeau raised the issue, and did so as a teacher, gave the Mexican media what they needed to report that the slaughter of teachers was an issue in Peña Nieto’s talks in Canada, increasing pressure on his administration to stop the violence and negotiate).
See the conference here:http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/06/28/trudeau-mexican-teachers-enrique-pena-nieto_n_10718790.html and some of the reaction in the Mexican media here: http://www.sinembargo.mx/29-06-2016/3060307

Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto will visit Ottawa June 29 to participate in the “3 Amigos” Summit with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Barrack Obama.

Will Prime Minister Trudeau ask Mexico’s President:

“Why are teachers being arrested, fired and shot in Mexico?”

We certainly hope so. You can urge Prime Minister Trudeau to raise the question here.

Teachers protest education reforms in Mexico.

Vancouver protest against attacks on Mexican teachers

The Government of Mexico has recently unleashed a new wave of repression against public school teachers in Mexico:

Since May 15, this wave of violence has resulted in:

  • Eleven teachers and parents shot dead, and dozens wounded by Mexican security forces.
  • At least 7 executive members of the democratic teachers’ movement abducted by security forces and placed in high security prisons far from their home states.
  • Eight thousand teachers have been fired for participating in the demonstrations or refusing to sit new standardized exams.

Why are teachers protesting?

For the past year, the government of President Peña Nieto has attempted to force through changes to public education that are opposed by broad sectors of teachers and parents. Among the most controversial of the new reforms are:

  • A requirement for teachers to sit regularly sit standardized written exams. Those not getting good marks are subject to firing.
  • The elimination of Mexico’s national system of teacher training “normal” schools. Normal schools have traditionally been the vehicle for children from poor families to become trained educators. Returning to rural and working-class communities, teachers trained in the normal schools often play an important role in movements for social justice.
  • The removal of the requirement to be a teacher to teach in Mexico’s public system. Instead, anyone with a college degree in any subject could be hired as a teacher.

Teachers from Mexico’s democratic teachers’ movement, the National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers (CNTE) and many parents groups strongly oppose the reforms. In a number of states Mexican teachers are refusing to sit the new standardized exams. Since Mexico’s national teachers’ day May 15, teachers throughout the country have launched a campaign involving work stoppages, street protests and sit-ins to oppose the federal government’s reforms.

President Peña Nieto’s response has been a wave of state repression, which reached its peak June 19, when security forces attacked protesters in Oaxaca with automatic rifles and helicopter gunships, killing 8 and wounding at least 45.

Call on Prime Minister Trudeau to urge President Peña Nieto to stop the violence and negotiate with the Mexican teachers.

For more background on the conflict over education in Mexico, this article in The Nation provides excellent context.

Permanent link to this article: http://idea-network.ca/news/urgent-action-mexican-teachers-need-your-help