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Hundreds of Teachers in Chihuahua are Threatened by Organized Crime Extorting their Paychecks

Hundreds of teachers in the state of Chihuahua have been harassed by criminals who are asking 50 percent of their bonus otherwise threatening to harm them, their family or their pupils.

The threats have been given in schools and even magisterial subdivisions, both in the city of Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez, but there are reports that this type of extortion has been presented in 10 other municipalities in the state.

The threats started to occur last week, but got worse this week with posters and messages left at schools in Ciudad Juárez.  Some of these schools have suspended work due to the lack of students, after the parents decided not to bring their children to campus after seeing the cards and painted threats on school walls.

On Tuesday, the mayor of Ciudad Juarez, Hector Murguia, announced a special initiative to protect the teachers and stop the extortionists, by a surveillance scheme, which has not been revealed.  That same week, the Valley Shores subdivision, exclusive to teachers of Section 42 of SNTE, unknown persons placed a piece of paper where teachers were reminded to pay an installment on the 30th of November, when they receive their bonuses.

The Governor of Chihuahua, Cesar Duarte Jaquez, said he would not allow such crimes against teachers and warned the extortionists they would be arrested and punished by life imprisonment.

Secretary General of Government, Graciela Ortiz, said that she spoke with the leadership of Section 42 schools, who expressed concern about the threats, and announced that the state government will be watching this closely, “teachers need to make a report immediately and not be intimidated by those who in this way seek to intimidate the population.”

Meanwhile, Mrs. Zenaida Murguia, a housewife who was leaving a meeting of parents of her daughter’s school said she feared for the life of her child, but agreed with the teachers to not let anyone enter the campus they do not know.

A campus director, Efrain Morales, said that if parents do not take their child that is up to them, but that teachers are required to go to school, despite the fear and threats.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, said arrangements have been made to secure payments to teachers in order to minimize risks. Eva Trujillo, a school spokeswoman said that teachers will no longer receive pay at the school, but rather through checks and direct deposits, to avoid unnecessary risks and that the delivery date would be changed and kept secret.

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