Storm damage and teachers marching

I was in Mexico City yesterday, and I was struck by the number of centros de acopio, or collection centres, for the donation of food, medicines, water, etc., destined to be delivered to the people who have lost everything in the recent storms. The Red Cross is doing sterling work, and lorries are being loaded up with all sorts of products and sent off to different parts all over the country. I was listening to the radio and one station is sending its mobile unit around to different parts of the city as a mobile collection centre, and delivering all the items to the Red Cross. There is universal faith in the Red Cross, much more than in the government, to get the food etc. to the people who really need it, they are very efficient. The damage is very extensive indeed and the government is having to readjust the federal budget and allocate large chunks of money to reconstructing roads, houses, communities, etc., etc. Well, of course
El Universal newspaper published some official numbers today which really do show the extent of the damage:

139 dead
53 people missing
35 people wounded
58,000 lost their homes
312 municipalities in a state of emergency
250 municipalities in a state of disaster
18 motorways affected
57 federal roads damaged
830,000 without electricity (255 communities in 12 states)
52,733 people in emergency shelters
26 states affected by these 2 storms
1,485 tons of emergency supplies distributed by the Red Cross, so far…  Teachers in Reforma yesterday
Meanwhile the teachers are still marching. It’s curious trying to work out how they see the world. During the storms over 500 schools were completely and utterly and totally destroyed. Thousands of others sustained damage, ranging from minor to serious. Children are unable to go to school because of the damage, particularly as those from families who have lost everything are not thinking much about their education at the moment. Meanwhile, the teachers are marching. Yesterday, I made it to my first appointment but not to the second. The teachers were marching along Paseo de la Reforma and so I was stuck. I could see them filing past just a block away from where I was. Someone said on the radio this morning, why haven‘t they been sacked yet? Good question, and one that needs answering seriously. So I made my way south again, inching along for the first hour and then as I got further south the traffic improved a lot. I think a lot of frustrated people were stuck somewhere the other side of Reforma. I also heard on the radio that teachers in Cuernavaca had blocked entry on to the motorway, exactly where I had passed earlier that morning. What a nightmare.

Meanwhile the esteemed leader of the teacher’s union, who is languishing in prison, apparently starts her day with yoga and generally seems to be having not exactly a good time but definitely not a bad time. It seems also that the powers to be have been unsuccessful in finding enough proof of all the bad things she did and there is a vague, very vague, possibility of her release. Some people think she is actually directing operations from the comfort of her cell, who knows…


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