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President Enrique Peña Nieto said Monday in a state-of-nation address — moved to the presidential residence Los Pinos because of massive teacher protests — that his reforms will bring about a great transformation that Mexico needs to progress.
He thanked the Chamber of Deputies for passing on Sunday a bill providing for an evaluation process for teachers — what the teachers were protesting about. The evaluation process bill — which still must be passed by the Senate — is part of the education reform Peña Nieto hopes to carry out, as well as energy and fiscal reforms. He argued that a drop in the growth forecast this year from 3.1% to 1.8% shows the need for passing his reforms. (The education reform passed earlier this year, but accompanying legislation to carry it out is still in process.)
Update, Sept. 4: Senate passes education bill.
In the process of trying to arrange a new venue, Peña Nieto wound up canceling a visit to Turkey, where he was going to stop on his way to Thursday and Friday's G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In Tijuana, teachers went on strike against the bill Monday, and planned another labor stoppage Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, El Mexicano reported (PDF).
Update, Sept. 5: Teachers take to Tijuana streets, Frontera (PDF). Teachers say evaluation violates their rights, Frontera (PDF).
Story, Los Angeles Times: "Mexico's Peña Nieto defends arduous reform agenda." It ran on Page A3 in the print edition; on the front page was a story on former President Vicente Fox advocating the legalization of marijuana: "Fox stirs the pot debate in Mexico: The ex-president is an unlikely champion of legalizing marijuana." On Page A4 was a story that former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden had released documents showing U.S. spying on Mexican and Brazilian officials: "New Snowden documents allege U.S. spying on Brazil, Mexico."
Peña Nieto, as he did in Mexico state, is spending a lot of money on advertising in the media pushing his point of view. Papers have been running full-page ads promoting his energy reforms, and on Wednesday, Sept. 4, a full-page ad ran touting his focus on education in his state-of-the-union address. Ad, El Mexicano (PDF).