Unknown gunmen opened fire as police and teachers clashed in southern Mexico during a protest that left six people dead and more than 100 injured, authorities said. The violence erupted as police threw tear gas at the protesters to end a week-long barricade that was blocking a road in Asuncion Nochixtlan, a town in Oaxaca state, where some vehicles were set on fire. The National Education Workers Coordinator (CNTE) union has been leading protests in Oaxaca for days against an education reform and the arrest of two of its leaders. Federal police chief Enrique Galindo later said that an armed unit was deployed after unidentified people “fired weapons on police and the population”.
There are reports of the presence of various violent groups that have headed the blockades of roads and strategic installations for days.
A joint statement from the state and federal governments
Paramedics said that three of the dead had bullet wounds. One was a minor and the other two were 23 and 28. Last weekend, police arrested the leader of the local teachers’ union for alleged corruption, redoubling government efforts to impose its authority on an education reform that has sparked months of protests across the country. Ruben Nunez, head of one of the most combative factions of Mexico’s CNTE union, was detained on suspicion of receiving money of illicit origin.