Demonstration season

We’ve heard that March is demonstration season in Mexico (the pun doesn’t work in Spanish, since marzo and marchar aren’t the same word).

But plenty of demonstrations are happening right now - the other night we found two in a row. Teachers and their supporters shut down the trains in this city.

Trains are shut down like this throughout the state of Michoacan by teachers and supporters, demanding back pay. Apparently neither the federal nor state governments have enough money. The train blockades are contributing (at least a little) to the gas shortage, since some fuel could be moved by train.

And the gas shortage is a response to fuel theft, which is one reason the government doesn’t have enough money to pay teachers.

Both the gas shortage and the underfunded schools are complex issues, but drug cartels/organized crime have a huge responsibility in both scenes. They intimidate government officials into corruption (bribe the easy ones, threaten to murden the tough ones) and over time, the government doesn’t serve the average Mexican citizen, it serves the elite (sound familiar?). AMLO really seems to be resisting, but that doesn’t fully fund the education system overnight.

Educators and others are demonstrating in Morelia’s city centre, too. You hear the same cynical criticism about striking teachers in Mexico as in the US.

I still don’t understand this story - when I first saw the photo, I assumed the parents chained themselves to the school to protest its closure - but officials chained them up! Lord have mercy.


mom January 28, 2019

I remember when I visited Stan 15 years ago at the end of Feb., beginning of March, there was a huge demonstration in the city about something. It seemed a much more normal thing there than it is here. Maybe it happens here more than I realize it, and maybe it’s happening more now than it was 15 years ago. In any case, power to the people!

Anna Lisa Gross February 04, 2019

My very uninformed impression is that at least two things are normal here:
1. problems to march/demonstrate about
2. people lifting their voices
but plenty of people here have no respect for demonstrators and think it’s all a waste of time (and complain about traffic). Class and culture are definitely part of this dynamic, since if your main concern in a day is getting somewhere on time, you complain about the demonstration. If your main concern is food and safety for your family, you join the demonstration.
Huge oversimplification!
There are other marches that are more diverse, esp in Mexico City, related to abortion, disappeared students, etc.

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