Oaxaca’s teachers union CNTE 22 a mixed bag of vandals, thieves and communists

If there was any doubt that the communist party has infiltrated itself into the teachers’ strike and the socialist movement currently overwhelming the state of Oaxaca, those doubts can be laid to rest.

In an open display of their Marxist agenda, Oaxaca’s teachers’ union CNTE 22 has allied itself with the extreme leftist organization. Billboards repudiating the President of Mexico’s educational reforms, have been stamped with the communist seal of approval, consisting of the hammer, sickle and five pointed star symbol all over the state of Oaxaca.

The powerful teachers’ union CNTE 22 refuses to implement the conditions set forth by the 2013 federal educational reform of Mexico’s current President, Enrique Peña Nieto. The new law minimizes the bargaining power of the teachers’ union in addition to requiring teachers and students alike to be tested for competency. More than 40% of Oaxaca’s teachers do not have the credentials required to teach. Many of them never completed high school. However, with the protection of the CNTE 22, they have managed to “teach” and remain on the payroll at taxpayers’ expense.

Last year, striking teachers refused to return to the classrooms for more than four months while still being paid. School children were left without an education in Oaxaca and many parents hired teachers from another local union to fill-in, SNTE 59. When they did, new teachers and parents from some schools discovered that their children had never been taught the Mexican national anthem.

“We don’t know the words to the Mexican anthem,” said Leticia Diego, a student, apologizing to a visitor one recent morning. About a dozen seventh-graders then shyly sang the leftist anthem, “The People United Will Never Be Defeated.” (WSJ)

The latter is a popular revolutionary cry commonly used by communist-affiliated organizations in dissident marches against the government. In addition, students were being taught guerilla tactics rather than a formal academic education in several schools in Oaxaca.

Since then, the rivalry among these two unions has escalated.

In late August, members of the CNTE 22 union, looted the building where their union rival SNTE 59 kept cases of school supplies that were ready to be given away for free to school kids. They also stole furniture, cleaning supplies and electronics from the warehouse. Inside, they had tied up and kidnapped the lawyer that represents SNTE 59 union members. All of this was done because the CNTE 22 claimed that they wanted the schools back from their rivals. Same schools that they abandoned for months when they were on strike with pay, ignoring pleas from parents to return to the classrooms to teach their children.

Earlier in the summer, members of the striking teachers’ union and the leftist social group APPO who brought about unrest to Oaxaca in 2006, vandalized the Guelaguetza Auditorium and threatened to ruin the festivities for all. The most recent act of vandalism from the CNTE 22 and its supporters was yesterday during another one of their scheduled protests.

Since the 2006 protests in Oaxaca, the CNTE 22 has cleverly used street vendors to promote their cause. Because of this, the wonderful festivities that locals and tourists enjoyed at the Zocalo during the month-long Christmas season, from the beginning of the Posadas in mid-December to the day of the Epiphany in January, are long gone.

Prior to this incident, street vendors had month-long fixed stands selling foods, handicrafts and trinkets at the Zocalo. Lights surrounded the town’s square and the ambiance was breathtaking as the three wise men were raised high above the trees, decorated in lights, welcoming everyone at the entrance of the Zocalo. Since then, you still get the lights, the nativity scene and one night with the radishes, but overall the Christmas season festivities at the Zocalo in Oaxaca City are dead.

It is a real shame that the street vendors, who are among the poorest of its residents just trying to make a living during the Christmas season, are no longer legally allowed to sell their products at the Zocalo. Everyone in Oaxaca is suffering the consequences of the CNTE 22’s current and past practices. Yet, the incompetency of the state government in failing to separate the street vendors from the teachers’ union and bring about resolution to this situation is also at fault.

The governor of Oaxaca, Gabino Cue, not only is fearful that the incidents of 2006 will resurface, but he won his position in 2010 on the platform to punish government officials of the former governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, who the CNTE 22 claims aggravated what took place against the striking union members and their socialist counterparts. After an American journalist was killed during those protests, then President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, stepped in and sent in federal forces to restore peace in Oaxaca.

The CNTE 22 claims it is defending the rights of not only its teachers but the poorest children in the country. However, if the powerful teachers’ union was really looking out for the best interest of their students, they would be in the classrooms teaching. Some schools, particularly in the rural regions of the state where the poorest children live, remain closed. Teachers have continued to be on strike with pay at taxpayer’s expense while the children of Oaxaca suffer.

Residents and parents are fed up and have pleaded for help. The general public wants to minimize the union’s powers and instill the educational reforms of the federal government in Oaxaca. Legislators have set a deadline of October 15th. Although, to ensure that peace is maintained in the state, it would be a good idea to send in federal troops as of now.

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