AMERICA/MEXICO - Bishops call on teachers in Oaxaca to demonstrate without violence: "their fight is right"

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 politics   bishops   violence   formation  

Oaxaca (Agenzia Fides) - "The fight that teachers, pensioners and non are carrying out in front of the Government Palace is right, and the Church cannot remain silent, because it is our duty to support and listen to their demands regarding decent wage and health care rights", said His Exc. Mgr. Raul Vera Lopez, Bishop of Saltillo, in front of a group of teachers present at Sunday Mass. Mgr. Vera Lopez also spoke of the public debt of 34 billion pesos, which has affected not only teachers and the field of public education, but also hospitals and other health centers, which are without medicine. Even the General Hospital, the largest in the area, does not have medical equipment.
The Bishop of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas (Chiapas, Mexico), His Exc. Mgr. Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, has called on the people to demonstrate peacefully. In fact, last Saturday, April 16, a very large group of Trade Union public school teachers (CNTE: Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación) had blocked the main entrance road to Oaxaca, which required the intervention of the police which resulted in clashes and 18 arrests. The situation in the area continues to be very tense, all schools are closed, there are demonstrations everywhere.
"We always urge respectful, patient and constant dialogue, to find together what is right for everyone. Illegitimate interests cannot prevail, but social good" said Mgr. Arizmendi Esquivel to the community. From the latest news we learn that the Minister of Education has warned teachers that if absenteeism for protest continues, their salaries will be halved. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 19/04/2016)