Just take a peek at their tactics and ideology.
A group of students from an unidentified teachers’ college stopped a cargo truck by lying on the road at a Michoacán state road Tuesday. The driver stopped, refusing to run them over, and immediately the students ganged up on him, took him out of the fully-loaded truck and left him standing alone on the road.
Next, a few miles down the road, the “students” put the truck across the road, set it on fire, and provoked a major traffic jam.
The punchline of this joke is that the Michoacán state municipal, state and federal authorities are “investigating” as to what happened and who did it.
But to the assaulted driver, the owners of the truck and the owners of the merchandise in transit, this was no joke. Not merely are they scared by the guerrilla warfare tactics of the teachers’ college students, but they demand justice.
The hijacking students demand justice too. They want the 38 students arrested Monday for doing exactly the same thing, hijacking and burning cargo trucks, to be released. The students have been charged by Michoacán authorities with larceny, theft, violent behavior and resisting arrest. Obviously, they are guilty of all charges but their peers want authorities to set them free just because their “cause is right.”
Where does this attitude come from? First, burning trucks in transit and then demanding those who burnt them be released free of sin and crime?
Their demand supporting the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) teachers’ union dogged insistence that the already-Congress-approved Education Reform be rejected by the president himself is but a mere front, balderdash.
The students went out on the road to demand that 1,200 new teaching posts be created in the state of Michoacán. That demand sounds fair to me, but burning trucks for it is a sauce for a different taco.
The CNTE union, or their backing “normalistas” (teachers’ college) students are not after the Education Reform. They are a guerrilla movement that is not new to anyone who’s been following Mexican politics over the past 57 years.
In 1968, there was a “student movement” that threatened the celebration that year of the Olympics and just 10 days before the Olympic games started, there was a brutal repression against the Cuban-and-Russian-sponsored mass protests at the “Three Cultures Plaza” in Tlateloco, Mexico City, which left over 1,000 people shot dead by the Mexican Army.
In the 1970s and 1990s there were four guerrilla movements led by “normal” or teachers’ college former students who openly promoted overthrowing the government by force. In those days, no Mexican government or president could claim to have been democratically elected as the one party system ruled by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was absolute.
On Sept. 23, 1973 a teacher, Arturo Gámiz García, led a failed armed guerrilla assault on a Mexican Army Regiment in the township of Madera, in the state of Chihuahua.
Then, in the state of Guerrero, two other normal school teachers, Lucio Cabañas and Genaro Vázquez rose up in arms against the PRI dictatorship. Both went down fighting the Mexican Army.
Then, the fourth one was “Marcos,” who led the 1994 insurrection known as the Zapatista Movement in the state of Chiapas. He and the rebels had political leverage, as they were not killed by the Mexican Army, and they still hold their own “independent” terrain in the Lacandon jungle near Comitán, state of Chiapas.
The difference between “Marcos” and the other three, all communists, was that unlike atheists Gámiz, Cabañas and Vázquez, Marcos was sponsored by the Catholic Church while the other three, Stalinists, repudiated religion, in particular the Catholic religion.
What the Mexican government is confronting now with the CNTE tactics and ideology is a movement that is the direct descendant of the ideology of Gámiz, Cabañas and Vázquez, which summing up, is an agrarian communist guerrilla that wants to impose its will against an urban and industrialized Mexico.
The brunt of the CNTE teachers and teachers’ college students are the children of Indian people. Hence, President Enrique Peña Nieto’s reluctance to repress the movement, although all the parties affected by the CNTE think this is way overdue.
A clash between Peña Nieto’s administration and the rural teacher union CNTE seems inevitable because talk is cheap and the points of belligerence get stronger every day.
The CNTE wants to impose an anti-democratic rural communist dictatorship. Have no doubt about it.
Their only problem is: Mexico is no longer a rural or a dictatorship nation.
CNTE guerrillas are not going anywhere. Read my lips.