Protests such as the sleep-in by teachers from the state of Oaxaca have been a constant occurrence since Peña Nieto came into office in 2012.
Lorena Ruiz (not pictured) says the underfunding of Oaxaca's rural schools is particularly frustrating in light of recent allegations about a number of prominent politicians, including the former governor of Oaxaca, José Murat, amassing luxury properties in the U.S. “We know our public servants have a lot of properties. I mean, look at the president, he has a multimillion dollar house,” she told FNL.
By most measures Oaxaca has the worst schools in Mexico. Four out of ten schools in the state have no running water and more than a quarter lack electricity. Teacher Ismael Ramírez told FNL that in his home state “there are schools with no resources to give a good education. There’s no money for paper.”
A woman holds up a balloon that expresses solidarity with the 43 missing teachers who disappeared from the state of Guerrero, just north of Oaxaca. "They took them alive and we want them back alive," reads the message on the the balloon.
Jesus Meneses (left) told FNL, “Oaxaca has natural resources and beaches for tourists. The problem is that instead of building infrastructure, [politicians] rob resources.”
On February 11th, hundreds of riot police stood guard along Reforma Avenue, watching the protest and eventually forcing the marchers off the street.
Teachers from Oaxaca have been in opposition to President Enrique Peña Nieto's efforts to reform Mexico's public school system. The government says it's a question of rooting out corruption in the teachers union. Teachers say his plan doesn't provide enough resources to the schools that need them most.
Eric Merino, a 30-year-old physical education teacher from the town of Huajuapan.
Mexico City's police know the teachers will be back in the country's capital again soon.
In a tent city set up in Mexico City, rural teachers from the state of Oaxaca in southwestern Mexico reacted to a New York Times report alleging that the family of José Murat Casab, a former governor of the state, and his son Alejandro Murat Hinojosa—the current head of the federal government mortgage lender for laborers—has amassed millions of dollars worth of property in the U.S. over the course of their careers.