Watch: Mexico teacher union conference ends in chair-throwing brawl

18th July 2016 at 17:00
Fight breaks out at Mexico teaching union conference
The teachers literally fighting for their rights

It is perhaps an understatement to say that activists in England's teaching unions don't always see eye to eye.

But any professional disunity in this country pales into insignificance compared to the bitter – and violent – row at a teaching union conference in Mexico last week.

A video shows the moment the meeting descended into chaos, as fighting broke out and chairs were thrown. According to the Mexican site Meganoticias, 15 teachers were injured in the brawl, some with head injuries and broken noses.

They include members of both the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) and the National Education Workers Coordinator (CNTE). Ironically, the banner on the wall of their conference room reads 'unidad', meaning 'unity'. 

There are conflicting accounts of how the fighting broke out, with some reports suggesting it was instigated by private security guards that were hired to protect teachers.  

Some teaching union members in Mexico have been involved in violent protests over the past few years, amid controversy over government reforms such as the introduction of new tests of teachers' subject knowledge and pedagogical skills.

TES reported in January that a group of teachers had sabotaged test centres where these assessments had taken place.  A government source said activists were using "violent means" to prevent teachers from taking the tests. 



Related Content

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today