Six dead, more than 100 injured in Mexico protest

2016-06-20 09:55
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Oaxaca – Unknown gunmen opened fire as police and teachers clashed in southern Mexico on Sunday during a protest that left six people dead and more than 100 injured, authorities said.

The violence erupted as police threw tear gas at the protesters to end a week-long barricade that was blocking a road in Asuncion Nochixtlan, a town in Oaxaca state, where some vehicles were set on fire.

The National Education Workers Coordinator (CNTE) union has been leading protests in Oaxaca for days against an education reform and the arrest of two of its leaders.

The National Security Commission initially denied that officers were armed, charging that news pictures showing them with guns were "false."

But federal police chief Enrique Galindo later said that an armed unit was deployed after unidentified people "fired weapons on police and the population."

"The teachers were not even involved in these things," Galindo said at a news conference.

"There are reports of the presence of various violent groups that have headed the blockades of roads and strategic installations for days," the federal and state governments said in a joint statement, urging the CNTE to distance itself from these unidentified groups.

Bullet wounds

The six fatalities were civilians, said Oaxaca state public security secretary Jorge Alberto Ruiz Martinez.

Another 55 federal and state officers were injured, including eight by gunshots, Ruiz Martinez said. At least 53 civilians were injured.

Paramedics said that three of the dead had bullet wounds. One was a minor and the other two were 23 and 28. The paramedics spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.

It was not immediately clear how the other three were killed.

At least 21 people were arrested.

The CNTE, considered a radical wing of a national union, denounced in a statement the "repressive action of the federal and state governments."

Many of the injured people were taken to the town's church before being transferred to hospitals. Several are in "critical" condition, the government said.

A municipal police officer, who requested anonymity, said a firebomb was thrown on the town's municipal building.

Governor Gabino Cue said the police intervention was needed to restore food and fuel supplies on state roads.

State capital tense

Protesters, some wearing masks, also gathered in the tourist city of Oaxaca, the state capital, where they prepared Molotov cocktails and burned material on the street to form barricades near the central plaza in anticipation of the arrival of police.

Shops closed and the streets were deserted.

"The resistance is peaceful but we are preparing barricades for the evacuation and excessive repression by the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto," said a spokesperson for the CNTE's Section 22 who declined to give his name for fear of reprisals.

"They didn't want to have dialogue. They said there was no going back" on the education reform, he said.

The CNTE has staunchly opposed Pena Nieto's education reform, which requires teachers to undergo performance evaluations.

The union has also been protesting last weekend's arrest of the leader of its Section 22 in Oaxaca, Ruben Nunez, and his deputy, Francisco Villalobos. Nunez faces money laundering charges, while Villalobos has been accused of stealing textbooks.

Read more on:    mexico

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.