The Unexpected Crop: Social Insurgency and New Alternatives for Education in Mexico

  • Hugo Abiotes Autonomous University of Mexico City
Keywords: Mexico, Unions, Teacher Unions, Activism, Civil Society, Teachers, Protest, Social Insurgency, Students, Neoliberalism,


During 2013, Mexico was inundated by massive protests organized by hundreds of thousands of the close to two million teachers that form the mostly public, national school system. Twenty-six of the thirty-two states of the Republic witnessed some form of protest. For months schools were closed by teachers in several states, the border to the United States was barricaded a couple of days, main national highways were closed for many hours on several occasions and in Mexico City tens of thousands of teachers came from all corners of the country surrounded the National Palace, the Supreme Court building, the presidential house, the Stock Market, and the City Airport. Teachers created a tent city that for months occupied the main central square of the capital. In this article explains why these protests erupted, the dynamics and the strategic moves of the teachers’ movement, and the current balance.

Author Biography

Hugo Abiotes, Autonomous University of Mexico City

Hugo Abiotes studied philosophy in Italy and Mexico and received his masters and doctorate in education from Harvard University, where he later was also a visiting scholar. Since 1980 he has been a professor and researcher in the Department of Education and Communication at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco (UAM-X). In 2014, he was elected to a four year term as rector of UAM-X.

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