Whereas five Mexican teachers, Professor Blanca Luna Becerrill (General Secretary for Section IX of the National Union of Education Workers), Alfonso Raul Vargas Vallejo, Elli Bejarno Martinez, Nester Manuel Trujano Molina and Maria del Refugio Jimenez Floreano, were arrested by the Mexican government on January 1, 1999 on trumped up charges of rioting, kidnapping, and larceny; and
Whereas these teachers were elected by more than 91% of the 60,000 members of the National Teachers Union to lead their local known as Section 9, representing elementary school and special education teachers in Mexico City; and
Whereas these teachers’ actual “crimes” were leading a march of 10,000 teachers into the Mexican Senate building on November 11, 1998, demanding that the Senators recognize them as the legitimate leadership of the National Teachers Union and accusing the Senators of tolerating the misery o the Mexican people; and
Whereas the unjust arrest of these teachers represents an attack on workers everywhere and our right to organize, speak for ourselves, take political action, and govern our own organizations;
Therefore Be It Resolved that Pride At Work/AFL-CIIO write to the President of Mexico to demand the immediate release of Professor Blanca Luna, Alfonso Raul Vargas Vallejo, Elio Bejarno Martinez, Nestor Manuel Trujano Molina and Maria del Refugio Jimenez Floreano and forward a statement of solidarity to members of Section 9 of the National Teachers Union in Mexico City.