Oh, Chihuahua! Texts and pretexts

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Yes, the leaders of sections 8 and 42 of the National Union of Education Workers fulfilled the ultimatum and paralyzed the basic education system in Chihuahua; The SNTE broke out a strike that affects more than 700 thousand students and their families. There are lawsuits and protections that rule that, for now, free textbooks are not distributed, but the matter is not legal, it is political. The Cuatroté government goes all out against the PAN governor of Chihuahua, María Eugenia Campos.

The race for free textbooks is uneven. The government used all means to get them to schools and teachers to accept them, despite the fact that the majority do not understand much of the content due to the extravagance of the language. An incentive to convince them was the basification of interims. In my talks with teachers I have found that they do use them, but in the classrooms, community projects do not convince them. They tell me about the difficulties—even suffering, according to one teacher—in developing their analytical program. Prefers the previous book, with simple, understandable language and precise tasks for students. With candor, another teacher told me that The book without recipes for the teacher and the teacher It gave him a headache, so he put it aside.

But the government, President López Obrador himself, is interested in the books reaching schools as a fulfilled promise, not because they are going to improve students' learning, perhaps on the contrary. And it seems that the Secretary of Public Education, Leticia Ramírez Amaya, repeats the slogan of “don't tell me that the law is the law.” She harassed Governor Campos to distribute the books, despite the fact that a judge accepted the protection of the Human Rights Clinic and the State Parents' Association so that they were not distributed. And local chapter leaders walk the same grass. They warned that they will not lift the strike until the Federal Judiciary resolves that the books be delivered. What if he decides against it or doesn't decide? Let the children and their families pay the consequences.

Governor Campos just makes statements and asks union members for sanity, arguing that the strike harms children more than the lack of textbooks and that she will not break the law. In response, the SNTE and its forces intensify the controversy and in blankets advocate for the revocation of the mandate; a weapon that perhaps President López Obrador will wield as election time progresses.

The situation in Chihuahua is conflictive and threatens to spread to Coahuila, where books are not distributed either and the Judiciary has not yet resolved the unconstitutionality trial promoted by the state government. However, the local sections of the SNTE have not raised their voices or echoed the center's slogans, at least not yet.

These are turbulent times, the narrative of hate and polarization that Cuatroté wields at every moment, coupled with the growth of criminal violence and the interference of organized crime in electoral politics, threaten to bring the country to the brink of the abyss. If anyone thinks that the government would take the path of common sense, they are wrong. Its legions, which include the SNTE, will do everything possible to maintain power and dominate society, regardless of the means. The events in Chihuahua raise alarm bells, the conflict may spread.


This Monday I chatted with two basic education teachers; one received three basifications from the same square, the other two. That makes me think that the 960,000 basics that the government and the SNTE proclaim is an inflated figure, useful for propaganda.

Carlos Ornelas
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