Sweeping education reforms in Mexico are meeting fierce opposition. Scenes from a teachers’ strike, Guerrero-style.
A teacher’s sign reads, “Federal Police Repressors, Community Police Defenders”. Masked, sometimes armed, and supported by vigilantes-turned-community-police, members of a Mexican teacher’s union occupy the commercial centres and malls in the state capital of Chilpancingo, in protest against national school reforms.
Teachers block the Carratera del Sol, the main highway between Mexico City and Acapulco.
A federal police contingent confronts teachers protesting reforms proposed by the Mexican government, the ruling PRI party and President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Police are prepared with shield and helmets.
The teachers’ strike turns violent.
Rural Mexican teachers are fighting against reforms that President Enrique Peña Nieto hopes will modernise the country.
The teachers protest against proposed requirements such as teaching English, arguing that their students’ poverty demands other education priorities.
Guerrero teachers are joined by the Policia Communitaria in solidarity for their movement. At the state Congress in Chilpancingo, the groups present their new demands for reform under intense media scrutiny. In discussions with state officials, their demands fall on deaf ears.
A thick blue line meets the protesters.
Although this school in Chilpancingo, Guerrero remains open, many rural schools in the state have been closed for more than six weeks since the protest began.
Pipes and sticks are brandished in the fight to arm children with the best education.