More than 4,000 police officers have been deployed in central Mexico City as thousands of protesters have started to gather at the emblematic Independence Angel monument, to show support for striking teachers and to protest the government’s violent response which led to the deaths of 12 people.
The protest was called by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City and the leader of the progressive Morena party, who posted a video earlier this week calling Mexicans to show their support for the teacher through a silent march that will end in the Zocalo, the city's main square.
In the video, Lopez Obrador called on people to protest the education reforms that lead to the strike called by the radical CNTE teachers union, as well as the “political mafia” and “hypocritical conservatives” in the country.
"We are beginning our protest in support of the teachers of Mexico. There are many people."
The former presidential candidate also posed a question to the government of Peña Nieto: “Why not choose humanism? Why not search for reconciliation and peace?”
Just after midday, tens of thousands were already present at the demonstration marking one week since the violent repression by the Peña Nieto government against demonstrators in the southern state of Oaxaca protesting against his neoliberal education reform.
Mexican authorities have said 10 people were killed as police clashed with protesters, although eyewitnesses including teleSUR correspondent's in Oaxaca reported 12 people were killed in the crackdown, including nine people in the municipality of Nochixtlan.
The teachers have been protesting since last May, however last Sunday’s massacre has sparked a local and global condemnation against state repression in Mexico.
Early this week more than 200,000 doctors and nurses joined the teachers’ in a 24-hour strike against Peña Nieto’s administration attempts to privatize the federal social security and health systems.
Students at major Mexican universities boycotted classes this week to mark last Sunday’s massacre and to oppose the ongoing efforts by the government to increase costs of higher education.