Most of the 23,000 school teachers in the central Mexican state of Morelos went on strike on Aug. 13 to protest the local implementation of a national plan called the Alliance for Quality of Education (ACE). The teachers, in Local 19 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), say that the plan is oriented towards consumerism and the commercialization of education and that it was imposed in ways that violate their constitutional rights. ACE was created through an agreement between Mexican president Felipe Calderon Hinojosa and Elba Esther Gordillo Morales, longtime national president of the 1.5 million-member SNTE.
On Aug. 22 some 20,000 teachers marched through Cuernavaca, the state capital, announcing plans to continue the strike and to set up an encampment in a plaza. Teachers and parents also demonstrated in other Morelos communities. Some 900 education workers marched on the same day in Veracruz state, while more than 9,000 teachers held a two-hour strike in the eastern state of Quintana Roo. On Aug. 28 Morelos teachers stepped up their actions by occupying tollbooths on highways and letting cars pass without paying; the actions were continuing as of Aug. 30. Meanwhile, federal senators from the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) called for Morelos governor Marco Antonio Adame to respond to the teachers’ demands. (La Jornada, Aug. 23, 24, 31; Mexican Labor News and Analysis, August 2008)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Aug. 31