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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Teachers union leader tells Spanish paper PAN and PRI leave much to be desired, says education in Mexico cannot be called a failure as it is reaching nearly 100% coverage

Teachers union leader Elba Esther Gordillo, in an elba esther gordillointerview with the Spanish newspaper El País, said the Institutional Revolutionary Party still has not learned to practice democracy and that the National Action Party has stopped learning how to exercise power. She said education in Mexico cannot be called a failure as it is reaching nearly 100% coverage of the school-age population.

The interview came in part to gauge her response to the documentary "¡De Panzazo!" (Scraping By), which places major blame for Mexico's education problems on the teachers union.

Gordillo said the PRI's break with her New Alliance Party in January did not come from PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, saying: "I have a magnificent relationship with Enrique Peña Nieto, since he was governor of Mexico state. The problem is not there. We spoke a lot with him about quality public education and respecting the union's autonomy. Other elements of the party had disagreements with him." She said he fulfilled his promises to the teachers union as governor.

She said of PAN presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota, with whom she had poor relations when Vázquez Mota was education minister during the first half of President Felipe Calderón's term: "She is good at public relations."

The paper said the interview took place in her luxurious Mexico City home in Polanco, and said the ocean was her weakness, as is her home with an ocean view in San Diego County.

El Universal story, in Frontera (PDF).
El País question-and-answer interview.

Columnist Denise Dresser suggests country might be better off if Gordillo died during her next plastic surgery