Newspaper La Jornada
Monday, May 23, 2022, p. 4
Convinced by her son-in-law, Fernando González, then SEP Undersecretary of Basic Education, Elba Esther Gordillo wanted to please Claudio X. González and one of his letterheads, Mexicanos Primero.
It was the occasion that he said that the rural normal schools were
cradle of guerrillas and they had to be closed.
Mr. X was a special guest at a meeting held in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, in August 2010.
The good relationship would continue for some time, to the extent that the teacher would be the central figure of the documentary. Belly!by Juan Carlos Rulfo and Carlos Loret de Mola, a Manichaean piece that blames teachers (and their caricatured leader at the time) for all the ills of education.
In a dialogue he had with the businessman, Gordillo spoke of the need to put an end to the teachers
allologists and to close some rural normal schools, although there would be, he foresaw,
Lots of fuss from the youngsters. Do not forget that the rural normal schools have been hotbeds of guerrillas, but if we do not do this, they will continue with the same (note by Laura Poy, the day).
It was not the first time that Gordillo launched himself against the normal ones. Two years ago, in August 2008, he had said:
We want the institutions that until yesterday were normal to be institutions for technicians in tourism, technicians in productive activities.
In June 2011, Gordilllo once again offered Claudio X. González a luxurious setting. The businessman spoke before her at the Fifth National Congress of Education and said of normal schools that “there are many mediocre ones and some that are a hive of politics and grid”.
What do we do with so many normal monsters?seconded the leader.
The alliance between Gordillo and then President Felipe Calderón was in one of its best moments and the union leader moved to the right to please her interlocutor and to confront her rival, Josefina Vázquez Mota.
It was a play loaded with opportunism. Depending on the occasion, Professor Gordillo changed her position regarding rural normalism. For example, in one of her speeches, in 2004, she had argued that with the creation of the bachelor’s degree in education
we lost something substantive, something core: the mission and the vocation. Let’s rescue normalism, give it meaning, which gives us cohesion and social meaning.
Perhaps the leader’s spirit was influenced by the fact that she began to work as a rural teacher without having attended a normal school, since already in service she took courses at the Federal Teacher Training Institute. Or that the normal union committees preferred to negotiate directly with the states or the Federation, since they saw the SNTE as an adversary.
Thus, Gordillo’s right hand launched itself again and again against the normal ones, while his left hand claimed them from time to time, as it suited the conjunctural interests of his leadership.
The rural normals were, in effect,
cradle of guerrillas, since their classrooms housed characters such as Lucio Cabañas and Genaro Vázquez, but they were also lavish in training political leaders of all stripes. Many of Gordillo’s comrades in the national leadership of the SNTE were trained in those
poor schoolsas the mother of one of the disappeared youths from Ayotzinapa said.
Just a few buttons: Othón Salazar Ramírez, the incorruptible leader of the 1957-1960 teachers’ movement, studied his first year at the Oaxtepec normal school, the second at Ayotzinapa, and the third at the National Teachers’ College. Enrique Olivares Santana, José López Portillo’s Secretary of the Interior, graduated from San Marcos, Zacatecas.
When he demonized the normal ones, Gordillo conveniently forgot that his mentor and political godfather, Carlos Jonguitud Barrios, was a graduate of the normal one in Ozuluama, Veracruz.
Without the need to move to the right, like his predecessor, the current general secretary of the SNTE, Alfonso Cepeda, stood out last year as godfather of the 2017-2021 generation of the Rural Normal School of San José de las Flores, Tamaulipas, and time was given for demagoguery when addressing the new teachers:
Normal schools and the teaching profession have had the appreciation and respect of the entire society throughout the history of our country..