Feb 11, 2012

Human Rights Violations - Guerrero Students: Students call return to classes "a farce"

The latest on events at the Rural Normal School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. While teachers ostensibly returned on Thursday, the students report that it was "a farce." The conflict between the teachers and the students over the appointment of a new director continues. See our summary of events to this point.

La Jornada: "According to the student leader, Pablo Juarez Cruz, only 15 of 55 teachers were present on Thursday to work at the Normal School of Ayotzinapa, and the rest did not attend, saying they would be holding a union meeting. He said that "the few teachers who were in classes were there for only 20 minutes and immediately left, and they gave us the task (one for third graders) to read page 11 of the geography book and summarize it."

At a press conference, accompanied by other members of the student leadership, Pablo Juarez said the workforce of Ayotzinapa is 55 professors and over 110 administrative staff for cooking and cleaning, among other tasks. "Today was a farce, a partial start of classes. We were waiting from early in the morning for the teachers."

"We will mobilize again if the governor (Angel Aguirre Rivero) does not provide the resources for the dining room, where staff did not show up. It was our parents who are preparing food with products that we have recieved from groups supporting us for the three months since the Secretary of Education in Guerrero, Silvia Romero Suarez, ordered a hold on dining resources," he added.

He also announced, "The students have told the governor that the demonstrations will begin again, we have been flexible but the teachers of section 14 of the National Union of Educational Workers has taken advantage of the situation.The conflict is not resolved."

He also accused the Secretary of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education in Guerrero (SEG), Marcial Rodriguez Saldana, of assuming to be an intermediary and "issung irresponsible statements on Thursday about the alleged culmination of the conflict. For us the only intermediary we recognize is the Civil Committee of Mediation, composed of leading academics and intellectuals led by anthropologist Gilberto Lopez y Rivas, who are intervening to talk to the state government."

Regarding teachers' insistence that Eugenio Hernandez Garcia is director of the Normal Ayotzinapa, Juarez Cruz said, "we tell the teachers and the governor that we will not accept the imposition of Eugene as a director, since he was the cause of the demonstration on December 12, and he is therefore responsible for the deaths of our colleagues, Gabriel Echeverria de Jesus and Jorge Alexis Herrera Campos.

"Teachers threatened us, saying that if the state Ministry of Education does not ratify Eugenio Hernandez as director, then they will leave the classroom, because the teachers do not recognize Humberto Santos, who was presented yesterday by officials of the state Minitstry as director," he made clear.

In addition, he confirmed that with regard to the educational aspects of the conflict, "we will raise our demands directly to the governor, through the Civil Committee of Mediation, because it is not viable for us to sit down with a repressive government, which would mean giving up our central demand that there is justice for the extrajudicial executions of our colleagues, we demand an immediate response to our complaint.

In Acapulco, Aguirre Rivero said he was ready to meet with the Civil Committee of Mediation, who are acting as intermediaries between him and the normal school, to follow up on the Ayotzinapa conflict, .

Regarding the appointment of Humberto Santos as director of the normal, Angel Aguirre believes that he processes a good resume. "As far as I have information, the students have welcomed him; in a way, they suggested him." He stressed that "we must come to an agreement so that the new director, if he also agreeds, may have all the powers and institutional supports needed." Spanish original

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