Thousands of federal and military agents were deployed in the southern Mexican State of Oaxaca, after Governor Gabino Cue and the Ministry of Education decided to kick the dissident teachers out of a local education institute.
Although some protests were registered, no violent incidents have been reported so far.
Leaders from the CNTE teacher’s union issued a press release calling for a “sincere dialogue,” rather than face repression by authorities.
"The attacks and repression against teachers will never be an effective response. They cannot force thousands of teachers to submit to the government's decision by force," read the document. The teachers added that they are willing to sit and talk again with education officials.
The dissident union has been known for staging numerous protests and occupied public spaces over the past decades, demanding better wages and work conditions.
However, the population has rejected what it calls an “excessive” military and police presence that has marred the most important annual indigenous cultural event in Mexico. Locals are concerned about a repeat of 2007 when turmoil between the government and the state’s rural leaders caused the “La Guelaguetza” festival to be cancelled.
Analysts say the CNTE is likely to continue its protests, given their opposition to the education reforms implemented by President Entique Peña Nieto.
The teachers oppose the proposed teacher evaluations included in the controversial law, which they say do not really measure teaching skills and do not take into account the special knowledge needed to teach in rural areas and indigenous communities in state like Oaxaca, where 56 percent of people consider themselves indigenous.
Union leaders insist the law is designed to allow for mass layoffs.