MEXICO CITY — A federal court ordered the release of Rubén Núñez and Francisco Villalobos Friday from a prison in Oaxaca following weeks of protests by supporters over their arrests and the education reform. Núñez and Villalobos are leaders in Section 22 of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE).
Attorney General Arely Gómez says the court did not absolve Núñez and Villalobos but rather freed them while legal proceedings continue.
According to CNTE lawyer Hugo Paz, the bail for Núñez is 70,000 pesos ($3,800) for two charges, while Villalobos’ bail is 120,000 pesos for four charges.
Prosecutors arrested the two teachers in June and accused them of setting up an illegal financial network to fund protests and line their own pockets, but the CNTE claimed that the arrests were politically motivated. The arrests led to the intensification of the conflict between the government and radical teachers’ unions opposed to the education reform.
Gómez denied on Friday that the release was politically motivated, but opposition lawmakers accused the government of succumbing to the demands of the CNTE by releasing its leaders.