Source: La Jornada / The Dawn News / June 22, 2017
A year ago, on June 20, 2017, eight people were killed by the Mexican police during a protest held by teachers and social organizations in the South-eastern state of Oaxaca. Last Monday, Mexicans commemorated the anniversary of the mass murder and claimed for justice.
In June 2016, teachers and social organizations had been protesting all month long against the education reform bill, which endangers public education. The protests had been peaceful, with no confrontations up to that point. But on June 19, the police intervened with 800 federal and state units to disperse around 2,000 protesters. In an unclear series of events, a shoot-out erupted which resulted in police gunfire killing eight people, and over 100 being injured. The fatal victims were aged 19 to 33.
Immediately after the events, it was confirmed that no shots were fired by teachers. The National Coordination of Education Workers denounced the protest had been infiltrated by people “disguised in civilian clothes” who purposefully disrupted the order to cause chaos. They accused the police of “shooting mercilessly” and demanded the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to investigate the case. They also demanded the resignation of governor Gabino Cué and of the Secretary of Education, Aurelio Nuño.
Last Monday, Mexican teachers homaged the victims and claimed for justice. Around 10 thousand teachers of Section No. 22 of the National Union of Education Workers met on the No. 190 Federal Road, just outside the headquarters of the Nochitxlán federal police, and walked along the Oaxaca-Cuacnopalan road until they reached the point where the tragedy took place. In that place, there’s now a statue commemorating the victims. An act was held with the presence of the victims’ families. The march continued and reached the center of the city, where the second act was held, led by the Secretary General of the union, Eloy López Hernández. Afterwards, there was a religious service in front of the statue and a massive concert at the end of the day. Classes were cancelled for students in the first level of education.