The News
Monday 24 of June 2024

Stretched Rubber Band

Road blockades in Nochixtlán,photo: Cuartoscuro/Tercero Díaz
Road blockades in Nochixtlán,photo: Cuartoscuro/Tercero Díaz
The fact is that the current political situation is reaching untenable proportions

An ancient Spanish adage says: “Breed ravens and they will pluck your eyes out.”

The truth behind the adage is becoming increasingly true for the Mexican government, which over decades has given financial support to radical extreme left political minorities organized in civic associations — NGOs — in exchange for them staying quiet and not raising hell against the administration.

About two months ago, however, the Interior Secretariat (Segob) as well as Oaxaca State Gov. Gabino Cué Monteagudo opted for suspending the subsidies to all these political NOGs in Oaxaca State. The funding suspension definitely angered these 50 plus organizations to the point of reeling them out to blockade roads, affecting millions of people with food, medicine and fuel shortages.

It is documented now that since the two top leaders of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) union of the Section 22 Oaxaca State guild — Ruben Nuñez and Francisco Villalobos, among others — were jailed on union funds mismanagement and fraud. The guerrilla warfare organization Popular Revolutionary Army (ERP) has taken over the command of the CNTE and is now leading the guerrilla warfare tactical road blockades in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. In short, the CNTE leaders have lost control of the movement, now in the hands of more radical, and violence oriented groups. Road blockades are economic violence.

Even more dangerous is the fact that new radical groups are appearing in places where CNTE has meek roots such as Tabasco and Nuevo León. The smell of political adrenalin and rebellion in such an important bastion as is Mexico is even attracting communist factions from Guatemala, where they are giving their support to the rebellious teachers and guerrilla groups with protests from across the Guatemalan border, which was also closed down due to traffic over the weekend by the CNTE unionists.

The fact is that the current political situation is reaching untenable proportions. At the top political level last Friday Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong warned the road blockading groups that the federal government has acted leniently thus far but that patience had come to an end and that the President Enrique Peña Nieto — under international embarrassment for showing weakness to these groups — was preparing to move the armed forces to remove the blockaders.

The administration contends, and rightly so, that the CNTE movement has stretched the rubber band too far, and it is about to burst under their pressure. And the political pressure also comes from the people being affected by mainly fuel shortages, as the protesters did not let any pipes pass through to Chiapas or Oaxaca out of the Salina Cruz refinery last week, which is still fully under siege.

The immediate reaction from the CNTE leaders was aired in a press release issued Saturday. They said that the government was going to use violence against them and that the very fact that there were fuel, medicine and food shortages in over 50 municipalities between Oaxaca and Chiapas “was not true.” And they added to their statement that “our protests are peaceful.”

What seems irreversible is that the warning by Interior Secretary Osorio Chong is imminently factual and that the people in government will now act according to the situation at hand. According to government intelligence, there is a group of approximately 1,600 people — most of them not teachers — who are carrying out the road blockades and the only way to remove them is with the “controlled” use of force, whatever that may mean when interdiction begins.

In all this, Mexicans at large are keenly aware that the guerrilla groups have already shown their faces during the June 19 riot with the firing of the first rounds of live ammo.

What the CNTE union has managed to do now is to corner the Peña Nieto administration to the point where their only way to legally defend the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of road movement for the long lines of aggravated road travelers and merchandise movers is booting the blockaders out, no matter what means are used, and preventing the ravens from plucking the government’s eyes out.

The rubber band is about to burst!