MEXICO CITY – Fireworks launched by teachers protesting Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s visit Thursday to the southern city of Oaxaca struck a government helicopter, forcing it to make an emergency landing.
No one was hurt in the attack on the chopper, which was carrying reporters who accompanied the president to Oaxaca.
In his speech inaugurating the city’s new Cultural and Conventions Center, Peña Nieto referred to the “difficulties” some attendees experienced en route to the site due to the disturbances caused by members of the militant CNTE teachers union.
“And the press were not exempt from this,” the president said, recounting the impact that forced the helicopter to land.
Whatever the cause, he said, “the resort to violence will always be worthy of condemnation.”
Peña Nieto noted that the protest was linked to the education overhaul he imposed in 2013, a program bitterly opposed by many of Mexico’s teachers who contend that the government sought to make them scapegoats for systemic failings.
“The future of Mexican children and youth depends on the country’s continuing to travel the path of development and prosperity,” the president said.