Marathon talks between the Mexican government and teachers protesting education reforms that have prompted deadly demonstrations ended Wednesday with no agreement, officials said.
The government announced the meeting earlier this week after a reported 12 people died and more than 100 were injured in Sunday’s unrest in the southern state of Oaxaca, where the CNTE teachers union blocked roads in protest against President Enrique Peña Nieto’s education reforms.
Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said the meeting’s goal was to find a “solution” to the standoff, not the reforms themselves.
The meeting was attended by 30 teachers belonging to the CNTE, which has spent months protesting Nieto’s reforms which were first initiated as part of the Mexican Education Reform Law in 2013. The CNTE sees this as an attempt to fire teachers and privatize the system.
The CNTE is also protesting last weekend’s arrest of its leader in Oaxaca, Ruben Nuñez, who is accused of money laundering charges, and his deputy, Francisco Villalobos, accused of stealing textbooks.
Supporters of the former, who has led a decade-long fight for better pay and work conditions, say he is innocent and accuse the government of targeting both he and Villalobos for political reasons.
The release of the two was not discussed at the meeting, Osorio Chong said, but agreements were reached on ensuring the safe arrival of tourists as well as food.
The union’s representatives are set to meet with federal authorities again next Monday in the hope of delving deeper into key issues on the agenda of thousands of protesting teachers.