September 16, 2013

They come and go, running riot in the Mexican capital, but they always return to a tent city in the central Zocalo Square – right in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral, which Catholic officials say has been negatively affected by the presence of so many protesting teachers.

“It’s not very easy to access for the faithful or visitors,” said Father Hugo Valdemar Romero, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico City.

Valdemar acknowledged a sharp drop in attendance, which the newspaper Reforma put at 80 per cent for Sunday Masses.

The protest camp also forced Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera to stay away from the cathedral.

Rivera was just one of many Mexicans inconvenienced by the teacher protests, which started in mid-August with the arrival of thousands of unhappy educators from Oaxaca state.

They came to the capital to protest an education reform approved Sept. 3.