June 20, 2016 22:00:00 CDT
MEXICO CITY, June 20. The death toll from violent protests by teachers in southern Mexico against education reform rose to eight, including a journalist, authorities said Monday, in one of the worst incidents of its type during the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, Reuters said.
Six people died on Sunday in Nochixtlán, in the southern state of Oaxaca, and dozens were wounded amid clashes between protesters of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) and federal and state police, which left huge barricades on fire, torched cars and damage to businesses.
These police agencies reported Monday that another two people, including a journalist, were shot dead in Juchitan, where the weekend blockades and demonstrations were recorded. Oaxaca is one of Mexico's poorest and most indigenous population states.
The CNTE, which intensified their protests after their leader was jailed a few days ago, blames the police for shooting protesters while the authorities say they were infiltrated by groups that sparked the violence.
The union, which acts separately from the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), close to the government, reported that more than 40 militants arrested by the Federal Police could not be located and said that the demonstrations will continue.
"What was experienced yesterday was really something brutal, something that has no name. Gendarmerie arrived, the PFP (Federal Police bodies) arrived and were armed and firing, not mincing words, " Miguel Zurita, leader of the CNTE in Oaxaca told Reuters.
The head of the Federal Police, Enrique Galindo said Monday that his officers were not armed and did not fire.
Translated by ESTI