Mexico airlifts food to Oaxaca during teachers’ protest

MEXICO CITY, July 2 (UPI) — Mexico’s air force delivered more than 100 tons of corn into Oaxaca state to deal with food shortages from roadblocks by protesting teachers.

The blockade has affected thousands of families in the state.

“Blockades and public damage must end,” Miguel Osorio Chong, Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior, said “Therefore, soon, we will be taking necessary decisions to allow traffic on strategic routes and supplies for communities.”

Members of the CNTE teacher’s union have been blocking roads in Oaxaca and other states since union leaders were arrested in early June. Last month, eight people were killed in clashes between demonstrators and police in Oaxaca.

The protesters oppose reforms in which federal authorities can remove teachers who fail evaluation exams.

The blockade of 11 highway in the state is preventing food trucks from entering the remote villages, said Juan Manuel Valle, Mexico’s federal food distribution chief.

Besides food being flown in twice daily on Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft, food is being trucked in from neighboring states of Guerrero and Veracruz, Social Development Secretary Jose Antonio Meade said. The products will be distributed from state-run stores, he said.

Teachers have vowed to increase their efforts with blockades throughout the country.

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