Police and teachers clash in Oaxaca over Mexican president's visit

Posted By: Bno
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OAXACA, MEXICO: More that 12,000 members of the Section 22 teachers union on Wednesday blocked major highways in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca and cancelled classes in more than 15,000 schools after teachers protesting a visit by President Felipe Calderón clashed with police on Tuesday, La Jornada newspaper reported.

Protesters, who have vowed to continue with the roadblocks and demonstrations until their demands are met, are calling for the resignation of local political and education leaders, including the Public Safety Secretary Marco Tulio Lopez who was beaten by protesters on Tuesday.

The roadblocks have affected hundreds of motorists, including those coming from nearby states, like Chiapas and Veracruz.

On Tuesday, violence broke out in the main plaza of the colonial city, which is a popular tourist destination in the country. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters who tried to interrupt a meeting between President Calderón and Oaxaca Gobernor Gabino Cué. They were protesting the presence of Calderón, who was signing various decrees, including one that will give parents tax breaks on private school tuition.

More than 14 people were wounded and hospitalized, local media reported.

Cué won the election last year after defeating his opponent from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which governed Oaxaca for 80 years.

In 2006, the city of Oaxaca was paralyzed for five months after teachers went on strike to demand higher pay and the resignation of Gov. Ulises Ruiz, who has been accused of corruption and human rights abuses.


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