Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Air Algérie crash site located, France sending military unit

    Read more

  • Air Algérie crash: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Americas

Striking teachers clash with riot police in Mexico City

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-09-14

At least 40 people were wounded on Friday in Mexico City as anti-riot police used water cannons and teargas to halt a demonstration by striking teachers, the latest unrest in weeks of protests against education reform.

Hundreds of anti-riot police have regained control of Mexico City's historic center using water cannons and tear gas to clear the area of striking teachers, who responded with firebombs.

At least 40 people were wounded in Friday's clashes at Zocalo square after a few hundred demonstrators violated a deadline to vacate the area to make room for the nation's independence day celebrations this weekend after weeks of protests against education reform.

The teachers, many armed with sticks and wearing masks, had set trash on fire and placed metal barriers in adjoining streets to block the police from entering the Zocalo, home to the National Palace, Aztec ruins and the city's cathedral.

Thousands of teachers had been occupying the plaza for the past three weeks, but most had left before the deadline, leaving makeshift tents and trash behind. Local businesses had shut their doors before the raid.

Police cleared the Zocalo within half an hour and put out small fires. An hour later, clean-up crews were dispatched to remove the plastic tarps from the tent city.

Minutes before the police moved in, the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto released an invitation to the independence celebrations at the Zocalo on Sunday and Monday.

But clashes continued on side streets, where hundreds of protesters staged confrontations with police. Some were masked and armed with stone clubs and iron pipes. Police responded with water cannons.

At least 29 protesters and 11 police officers were wounded in the confrontations, according to the Mexican Red Cross and the federal police's National Security Commission.

Federal police chief Manuel Mondragon y Kalb said 31 people were detained, none of them teachers. He said the detainees held various weapons, including gas tanks used as flame throwers.

A commission spokesman told AFP that the detainees were "anarchists" who had infiltrated the groups of striking teachers. The authorities have accused anarchists of causing disturbances in recent demonstrations.

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong stressed that the eviction was "professional" and that the police were unarmed.

Ruben Nunez, leader of the dissident National Education Workers Coordinator (CNTE) union, told reporters that teachers had agreed to withdraw from the square once the ultimatum expired to continue negotiating their claims with the government.

He later joined other CNTE leaders in resuming talks at the interior ministry. Osorio Chong, meanwhile, expressed willingness to reach a negotiated settlement.

Traditionally, the president delivers the "Cry of Independence" from the National Palace balcony on the evening of September 15, shouting "Viva Mexico!" and waving the Mexican flag. A military parade takes place the next day.

Pena Nieto signed an education reform this week that requires teachers to undergo mandatory performance evaluations. The teachers say the new rules violate their labor rights.

CNTE led several protests in the city for the past three weeks, disrupting traffic in the already congested megalopolis and twice blocking road access to the international airport.

The demonstrations irritated many chilangos, as Mexico City residents are known, with 59 percent favoring the use of force against the teachers, according to a poll conducted last month by the newspaper Reforma.

(AFP)

 

Date created : 2013-09-14

COMMENT(S)