Death toll rises in Mexico in teachers union clash with police

OAXACA, Mexico, June 21 (UPI) — At least eight people were killed in violent clashes with police in southern Mexico during a teachers union protest over new requirements for teachers to take tests.

Six of the eight were killed in Oaxaca in clashes between teachers, local residents and state police, CNN reported. Another 53 civilians and 55 police officers were injured.

The protests had disrupted traffic for several days on a major highway that connects Oaxaca to Mexico City, according to government officials. When riot police tried to disburse the protesters, the situation turned violent.

Teachers from the CNTE union had set up a road block to protest education reforms implemented by President Enrique Pena Nieto. Several union leaders were arrested by the government, Telesur reported.

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The union has been battling constitutional reforms that would force teachers to take examinations to be approved for employment, with further tests required in order for them to keep their jobs.

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