Organizers said the march was a "walk of peaceful resistance and national pressure to demand the standardization of the collective pact and working conditions."
Teachers in Guatemala marched en masse Thursday to demand congressional approval of funds for the Education Ministry, along with a wage increase. The march was the latest action in a month-long strike organized after the government failed to implement a previous agreement.
Thousands of teachers from 11 departments gathered in the emblematic Plaza Obelisco ('Obelisk Square') and marched towards Congress to pressure legislators to approve the 'Teachers' Collective Pact,' which includes additional resources for investment in education; a wage increase; guarantees for security and protection, and more resources for students.
Organizers said the march was a "walk of peaceful resistance and national pressure to demand the standardization of the collective pact and working conditions." The collective pact was approved in February, but has yet to be implemented.
"We are asking every legislator for a vote to expand the budget of the Education Ministry," Joviel Acevedo, leader of the Guatemalan Education Workers' Union, said.
Since last April, six of Guatemala's 22 departments have paralyzed their activities indefinitely until their demand for better wages is met by the Central American country's authorities. In seven departments, schools remain closed due to violent attacks and a lack of security.
During the march, teachers reminded authorities that in March two educators were murdered during an attack on a bus.