This morning, members of the Accompaniment delegation, responding to a request for human rights accompaniment, arrived at the police station where four teachers have been detained since yesterday. Other concerned citizens and representatives of the human rights community gathered outside of the police station this morning as well. Police, in riot gear had closed off both ends of the block. Eventually, delegation members were granted access to the jailed teachers as well as their attorney.
Yesterday at noon, the four teachers – Elmer Joel Tejeda Hernández, Darwin Edgardo Funes Irías, Jesús Isidro López and Ansar Alesky Torres Alvarez were arrested in a COPEMH (Association of Secondary Teachers Union) vehicle in a local neighborhood following a large teacher’s demonstration. The four were arrested some distance from the protest. Charges against them have been changed several times so it is unclear what they are being charged with.
Hundreds of teachers gathered for an assembly at the Hibueras Institute yesterday from which they planned to conduct a peaceful march to the National Congress protesting efforts to privatize education. However, they were met by police and military with tanks of pepper spray, tear gas, clubs and live bullets according to observers. Helicopters flew overhead and the area surrounding the National Congress was militarized as security forces dispersed the march. One teacher was injured when a tear gas canister was exploded in his face.
Tomorrow another large demonstration is planned and there are concerns that these arrests are an effort to diminish tomorrow’s action. Please visit the website for updates and urgent action requests.