Guerrero Protesters Demand Education, Not War

By Kristin Bricker

, by CIP Americas Program

Several thousand people marched on Acapulco, Guerrero, this past Saturday chanting, “We don’t want war, we want education!” The march occurred during poet Javier Sicilia’s visit to the seaside city as his caravan of drug war victims makes its way to the Mexico-Guatemala border.

Acapulco was once an international resort destination. Now, drug war violence has scared away many tourists who are afraid of becoming the cartels’ next victim. Last year, the kidnapping and murder of twenty Mexican tourists in Acapulco dealt a devastating blow to the city’s tourism industry. Drug traffickers apparently mistook the group of mechanics from Michoacan for a rival drug gang.

The increasing violence in Acapulco drove 800 teachers in 300 public schools to \strike last week to demand that the government take measures to increase security in their schools. The strike has kept at least 50,000 students from beginning the 2010-2011 school year. The teachers say they won’t return to classes until it is safe to do so. Teachers around the state are supporting the Acapulco strike by occupying all of the Ministry of Public Education buildings in the state. They are threatening to strike, too, if the government doesn’t reach an agreement with the union this week.

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