Threats against professors, their families and their students have been posted recently. The extortionists want 50% of the tuition fee or they will hurt or kill anyone who doesn't adhere to their demands.
The threats have been issued against the schools of least 10 municipalities in the region, including those in ciudad de Chihuahua and Ciudad Juárez.
Banners began to appear about a week ago around schools in Ciudad Juárez and in a neighborhood where a lot of the local teachers reside in, near the capital.
Some of the schools have been forced to close their doors because of a lack of students. The low attendance rates were exacerbated when parents began withdrawing their children recently after these threats started to appear in the form of banners and scrawled across the outside walls and inside the school hallways.
Since this past Monday, threats have been issued against schools in colonia Olivia Espinoza and colonia Frida Kahlo.
That same day in the neighborhood of Riberas del Valle, a specific threat was hung by unknown perpetrators against the teachers of Sección 42 del SNTE, reminding them they had until the 30th of November to pay up or face the consequences.
On Tuesday, Ciudad Juárez mayor, Héctor Murguía announced that a special operation to protect the teachers and find the extortionists would take place that would involve "vigilant schemes" but refused to elaborate on the point.
Governor of Chihuahua, César Duarte Jáquez, said he would not permit this type of criminal acts against the teachers of the state and spoke directly at the extortionists in his statements, letting them know they would be found and punished for their deplorable and despicable actions.
“It hurts me that hear that these criminal organizations have decided to take advantage of the current situation. This ends right now. We of the Chihuahua government will not tolerate threats or any attempts to hurt students or their families, we will use all of our energy and resources to stop any actions against the safety of the teachers, the faculty and we will protect their families."
The General Secretary for the state, Graciela Ortíz, said this morning that she had spoken with the faculty at sección 42, who expressed their fear in reguards to these threats. She announced that the state government was staying on top of the situation. "When these things happen it is important to denounce them immediately and we must not allow ourselves to be intimidated because that is exactly what these people want: to terrorize the public."
Meanwhile, Mrs. Zenaida Murguía left her house to attend a PTA meeting at her daughters' school. She said she was worried for the life of her child, but she listened to the teachers who had been briefed about locking doors and not allowing any strangers on campus and that all the parents would agree on a time to pick up their kids to avoid these situations.
School director Efraín Morales, said that if the parents of the students decided not to let their child attend, it was entirely their decision. However, it was the faculties obligation to keep the school open, despite the fear and threats that continue to plague the area.
The Education Secretary commented that her office had established security measures for the teachers, to minimize their exposure to risk. Eva Trujillo said that the institution would see to it that not a single teacher would receive their pay at the school (a common practice in Mexico), instead there would be a series of checks and bank deposits and in a further effort to complicate extortion attempts, the dates and times for teacher payday's would be random and kept secret from the public.