Conflicts & War

Aspiring teachers burn vehicle at protest in Mexico

Morelia, Mexico, Oct 20 (EFE).- Students and alumni at rural normal schools in the western Mexican state of Michoacan set a vehicle ablaze Thursday during a protest to demand posts in the state’s public schools.

The group behind the disturbances, ONOEM, wants the state to reserve 3,200 teaching positions for members of the 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 graduating classes of the normal schools.

Michoacan’s Public Safety Department said that a contingent of protesters commandeered a delivery truck in the town of Paracho and set it on fire.

By the time state police arrived to restore order, the students had fled.

Here in Morelia, the state capital, ONOEM activists blocked a major intersection in the city center.

ONOEM has threatened to intensify the mobilization by shutting down the state’s highways and blocking the rail line that connects the Mexican interior with Lazaro Cardenas, the country’s main cargo terminal on the Pacific.

Michoacan Gov. Alfredo Ramirez, who belongs to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s leftist Morena party, insists that the state system will only hire teachers through a competitive process based on individual evaluation.

There is a history in Michoacan of organizations of normal school students and graduates resorting to street protests and even violence to press their employment demands. EFE mad/dr

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