Sergio Sarmiento, writing an opinion which was published, shockingly, by the virulently anti-government local newspaper Noticias, rips the APPO, the striking teachers, the state governement and the federal government over the murder of math teacher Jaime René Calva Aragón. In an opinion piece titled, "El Maestro", Sarmiento pens a bitter and scathing indictment of just about all parties involved in this 4 month-long fiasco.
The money quotes:
Jaime René Calva Aragón committed the worst sin imaginable by a Oaxacan teacher. He dared to teach classes to his students.I've written commentary like this and some vistors to the site have invited me to leave. Now you read it from an influential Mexican who, I don't believe, has any intentions of moving anywhere.
The scepticism of the murdered teacher's family, friends and fellows that any justice will be done is well founded. The governor long ago lost control of this state and especially the capitol city. The federal government is carrying on negotiations with the groups who have taken control of the capitol, asking their permission to apply the law. Logically, those groups have not given that permission.
The formal reason they have given us for establishing dialogue and negotiations is supposedly to try to avoid the violence inherent to the use of force in the city.
But the violence is already here.
It was with violence that the state's schools were closed while many teachers, perhaps the majority, neither supported nor participated in the movement. It has been with violence that they have taken the city's streets and halted the economic activity of tourism. It has been with violence that they have provoked the loss of jobs and the income of those who work there. It has been with violence that radio and TV stations have been taken. It has been with violence that teachers' union and APPO activists have meted out "justice" in the form of corporal punishment to those who don't approve of their movement. It has been with violence that Professor René Calvo was murdered.
But this violence only affects the common, everyday people so it doesn't worry Governor Ruiz nor does it matter to the federal Secretary of Governemnt Carlos Abascal, assigned by President Fox to find a solution to the problem of Oaxaca. The only violence of any import to them, the only violence they are seeking to avoid, is any violence that might affect members of APPO or the striking teachers. They are the only ones in Oaxaca who have the right to live free of violence.
The family and friends of Professor René Delgado know well that his murderers will never be punished. First, the Oaxacan police don't even dare to go out into the streets. But, if by some miracle they managed to find and apprehend those responsible for the murder, the murderers would immediately become "political prisoners" and there would be more demonstrations and more blockades until their release could be forced. That is "revolutionary justice".
And that is the justice that applies today in our country and in Oaxaca. Those who govern us hide out and refuse to do their duty, although they never refuse to accept their generous salaries (Editors comment: Sounds just like the US Congress, no?) The citizenry, meanwhile, lives in fear and is victim of the violence.
The great sin of René Calva was to do his duty as an educator. He challenged those who seek to impede education by daring to give mathmetics classes to students who so desperately needed that instruction. That cost him his life.
In our country, the best way to protect life and limb, salaries and positions is to not fulfill one's obligations. The teachers who don't attend their classes, the police who don't go out into the streets, the governors who don't govern and the federal cabinet secretaries who prolong the conflicts are those who receive rewards from the Mexican political system. The teachers who dare to give classes are those who put the priveleges of the others at risk.
So, in just a little while, no one will remember the name of Professor René Calva.
I noted towards the beginning of the post that these were the money quotes. Actually, it's just about all the quotes. I think I am protected by standards of fair use and besides, I know a good jungle hideout in Costa Rica.
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TAGS: Oaxaca, Mexico, Oaxaca teachers´strike, APPO, SNTE, Sergio Sarmiento