News, features, and commentary from the biggest city in the Americas, Mexico City.

EDITORIAL: End the Nonsense – Arrest the Protesters

Part of the teachers' planton in the Zocalo. (Photo: Fritz Schtickelmeyer)

Part of the teachers’ plantón in the Zocalo, in a recent photo. (Photo: Fritz Schtickelmeyer)

By Fritz Schtickelmeyer

Endless protests are one of the more unfortunate features of life in Mexico City.

Every group with some beef (real or imagined) against the government seems compelled to take to the streets to block traffic, set up camps, disrupt economic activity, and otherwise rile up the productive members of this city — as if this is somehow going to win them support and give them whatever they want.

This is the behavior of spoiled children.

And when the individuals in question are from the radical teachers group, the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de Educación (CNTE), well, they’ll need all the help they can get in winning over the public.

This is a group that apparently does not believe in education, progress, or doing what’s best for students. They are trying to stop all reforms to education, to stick with a system that does not best serve the interest of students or of society.

Accountability? Not if the CNTE has any say. They vehemently oppose the evaluation of its teachers, and they want the CNTE to be the ones who decide who will be permitted to teach. Qualifications? Not important to them!

The CNTE is a relic of a union, stuck in the 19th century. Based on their actions, the needs of students are not a priority to them.

The CNTE has set up a garbage dump — oops, sorry, a plantón (camp) — in the Zócalo, they’ve blockaded Congress (San Lázaro and the Senate), and now, they’re blocking the country’s busiest airport.

Let’s not mince words — they’re breaking the law, and they ought to be arrested.

Then, we can see how the lawbreakers like prison. They can join their former compatriot, the ex-teachers’ union bigwig, Elba Esther Gordillo (of the SNTE union), who’s still locked up for her years of theft and organized crime.

And what of the authorities? Where are the police and government officials? Please, do your jobs and protect the rights of the law-abiding citizens!

Furthermore, do not “bargain” with the CNTE. You are a doing a disservice to the country by attempting to bargain with people who have no respect for the law.

The CNTE needs to realize we’re in the 21st century, and that progress is needed. The education system does not exist to serve their personal interests, and the bank accounts of union leaders.

And furthermore, the union should be held directly responsible for any and all financial losses incurred by businesses in the Centro Histórico and at the airport.

We suggest the government liquidate (shut down) the union and seize their big bank accounts to reimburse businesses, airlines, passengers, and anyone else affected by their thoughtlessness.

Plus, it’s already been announced that there’s been a change of course for this Sunday’s Mexico City Marathon, thanks to the CNTE’s apparent “ownership” of the Zócalo — at least unless and until the authorities actually implement the rule of law.

Unless the members of the CNTE accept responsibility for their actions, they should NEVER be in a position to teach children. Ever!

Twitter: @mexdfmagazine

About Fritz Schtickelmeyer

A veteran journalist, he's reported from across the globe. For a brief time, was a high school teacher in Minnesota.

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This entry was posted on August 23, 2013 by in Commentary and tagged , , , , .
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