Teachers belonging to Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers have been blocking a local highway since Wednesday, demanding the liberation of their comrades who are being held hostage by residents of the Tortuguero community and an anti-striking faction in central Oaxaca.
The Mexican state secretary of public safety reported that around 700 vehicles were stranded in the stretch between Matías Romero and Palomares, and another 650 vehicles are blocking the stretch of the highway between Matías Romero and Juchitán in the southern state. Section 22 union stewards, two lawyers, and a representative of the State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca were taken hostage at 5 a.m. Tuesday in Tortuguero. The residents are demanding that the teachers give their preschool, primary and secondary school students their 2013 school year certificates.
The protests are continuing even as four of the kidnapped had been released as of Thursday morning.