Government Against The Governed: Oaxaca, Mexico


Edith Garcia, Staff Writer

The entire world was in shock. The lights of the Eiffel Tower lit up in green, white and red. The tragedy spoke for itself.

On June 19, a seven-day protest against educational reforms in Oaxaca, Mexico turned violent.

Every year, teachers and students who are part of the National Teachers Union in Oaxaca take to the streets and protest against issues facing Mexico. The issues range from raising teachers salaries to this year’s protest against educational reforms that force teachers to take standardized tests to determine their teaching abilities. If a teacher fails more than three times, he or she could be terminated or stripped of job security. The standardized evaluation holds every teacher to the same standard, regardless of their location.

The Mexican government’s response to the week-long protest resulted in a war, as it also did in 2006. The government fought against the governed.

For hours, chaos reigned in Oaxaca after police made efforts to disperse the protest blocking the major highway connecting Oaxaca and Mexico City. Shots were fired, resulting in six reported deaths, over 100 civilian and police officers injured and over 20 arrests.

After the incident, thousands took to social media to express their support for the teachers and reforms against the Mexican educational system. The hashtags #PrayForOaxaca and #PrayForMexico were among the top trends on Twitter and Facebook.

Not only did the tragedy in Oaxaca expose people to educational issues in Mexico, but the corruption and internal problems inside the Mexican government.
Efforts continue to be in place to reform the educational system in Mexico.