Friday, July 28, 2006

Oaxaca teachers strike: Governor vs union Mexican standoff

Mark in Mexico, Oaxaca Mexico's teacher strike has become a Mexican standoff between the teachers union and the governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. The governor vows not to resign while the teachers vow to increase pressure

Due to the blockades of most government installations being manned by the teachers union and their supporters, Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz was forced to hold official functions in a hotel on the city's far north side. He met with representatives of local commerce as well as with members of the state legislature. During the meeting with the commerce representatives, many in the group stood and shouted, "We are with you."

The governor has repeated his determination to remain in office. The legislature reiterated its position that the law does not allow it to get involved in the union vs governor strife because the legislature plays no part in teacher salaries and benefit agreements. One PANista reprsentative said, "The brains behind these bloques (the union and the many groups here supporting the union) are the same brains behind the radical movements and the vote-for-vote (AMLO's 100% recount demands).

The teachers responded: "We know that the governor controls the legislature and the courts. For this reason we demand that he goes. If he doesn't, then ungovernability will reign." The union spokesman vowed to take this fight as far as is necessary to get rid of the governor.

According to the spokesman, the Mexican constitution permits the removal of a state governor if, due to his presence, a state has become "ungovernable". "The only thing we want and that the people of Oaxaca want is Ulises' exit. So long as this doesn't happen, we aren't going to take even one step backwards. We come today to demand that he goes because his only interest is in repression."

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