Sunday, October 12, 2014

México: Students at Capital's National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) Deliver Rejection of Gov't Proposal

According to The Latin American Tribunestudents at Mexico City’s National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) delivered their written rejection of a Mexican federal government proposal for ending their university-paralyzing protest.

The march in Mexico City involving thousands of students began at the Estela de Luz (Pillar of Light) monument and ended at two different points.

The most numerous group headed for Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco district, scene of the October 2, 1968, student massacre and symbol of the fight against authoritarianism and repression in México.

A second group headed to the Government Secretariat to deliver the student movement’s written response to a proposal offered last Friday by President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government.

The students had already rejected the government’s proposal earlier this week at an assembly, saying it was vague and incomplete and was merely a “media show” aimed at dismantling their movement.

The deputy government secretary, Luís Enrique Miranda, who received the students’ response on Friday, told them that the government will deliver a new proposal on Tuesday (October 14).

The students are planning to hold another march that same day.

On September 22, students at the IPN’s Superior School of Engineering and Architecture halted activities to protest new internal regulations that they said lowered that public institution’s academic and professional level.

The movement quickly grew and seemed on the verge of expanding to all of the country’s public universities.

México’s government secretary, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, said in an address on October 3, to thousands of students outside his ministry’s headquarters that the government had accepted all of their demands.

The government’s rapid response reflected its fear of new student demonstrations two years after the rise of the “Yo soy 132” student movement, which started in May 2012, shortly before Enrique Peña Nieto’s victory in that year’s presidential election returned the once-hegemonic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to power.

COMMENT: The protest movement began on May 11 of that year when Peña Nieto visited the Universidad Iberoamericana and was jeered by students, who accused him of being a candidate “manufactured” by the powerful Televisa network.

The list of demands accepted earlier this month by Peña Nieto’s government included the scrapping of the controversial new regulations that were approved in September and which opponents say emphasize technical as opposed to scientific knowledge.

Osorio Chong also announced that the federal government had accepted the resignation of Yoloxochitl Bustamante, the now-former director of the IPN, thus fulfilling another of the protesters’ demands.

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