Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexican teacher praised for protecting kids

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 |

By Associated Press

A kindergarten teacher in northern Mexico was honored Monday for her courage after a video showed her calmly instructing children to duck and cover as gunfire rattled outside their school.

A certificate presented by the governor of the northern state of Nuevo Leon said teacher Martha Rivera Alanis showed "outstanding civic courage" in her steady performance during the Friday gunfight in the northern industrial hub of Monterrey.

Rivera Alanis proudly held up the framed certificate outside the office of Gov. Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz and said she wasn't concerned with fame — only the safety of her 5- and 6-year-old students.

"Of course, I was afraid, but I tell you, my kids get me through it," she said following the private ceremony.

Rivera Alanis herself used her cell phone to tape the video, in which she is heard coaxing the 15 children to lie flat on the floor.

"No, my love, nothing is going to happen, just put your little face on the floor," Rivera Alanis is heard telling one worried little girl.

Then, loud bursts of gunfire break out on the video, what local paramedics later confirmed was the sound of gunmen killing five people at a taxi stand about a block from the school.

Monterrey has been plagued by a wave of drug-related violence, in which gangs linked to drug cartels have staged gunfights, blocked streets and opened fire on civilians.

In the video, the teacher tries to take the kids' minds off the gunfire, leading them in a song popularized by the children's show "Barney & Friends." The song talks about the sky raining candy — not the bullets that were piercing the air that day.

"If the rain drops were chocolate, I would love to be there, opening my mouth to taste them," the class sang as they hugged the floor at the Alfonso Reyes school.

"My only thought was to take their minds off that noise," she told reporters Monday. "So I thought of that song."

Rivera Alanis, 33, said she posted the video to her Twitter account, and someone who found it there posted it to the website YouTube.

A mother of two children, Rivera Alanis said her young students had set an example for the rest of the city.

"I'm going to carry on, of course it is possible," she said. "If my 5- and 6-year-olds can do it, it is up to the rest of us to carry on."

Rivera Alanis' school and those in several Mexican cities that have been hit by drug violence have held emergency drills in the past to instruct teachers and students what to do in case of gunfire. Such violence has killed more than 35,000 people across Mexico over the past four years.

"We do drills constantly, because the area where we are is a high-risk zone," she said, adding that the kids "behaved in the way we had practiced."

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16 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Borderland Beat has poste dthe video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krFvOApU0EQ&feature=channel_video_title

Anonymous said...

Marisol Valles may have did what she had to do to stay alive, but when the moment occurred Martha Rivera stood her ground and reacted and did was she was ENTRUSTED to do. (Take care of the kids) SHE is the bravest woman in Mexico.

Amado said...

I applaud this teacher first for even staying and teaching these children! The children and their families need to know there are good people in the world. There is hope for them and real freedom money can't buy and the gangscan't take:http://stephaniesprayercorner.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

the great part about it is that she took a video of it and posted it to twitter? I think she wanted the publicity

'lito'brito said...

the women of Mexico..so beautiful...so strong..seems like they shine through the darkness that is over Mexico...like stars through a dark night...here and there they shine ...to keep hope alive....

any man who has the love of a Mexican woman has a great treasure

Anonymous said...

Too bad, that those scum bags will probably now come for her, since she was put on front street by government officials.

Anonymous said...

I hope la senora will be safe. She is someone to be respected, for sure.

'lito'brito said...

Anonymous said...

the great part about it is that she took a video of it and posted it to twitter? I think she wanted the publicity
May 31, 2011 3:38 PM


??????? she set the whole thing up for the publicity????....

hombre ...cabron...you need to lay off the mota...drink some water ..go outside and get some fresh air...and stop watching so much alex jones ...the conspiracy theorys have affected your reasoning....

this one should make the anymouse comments hall of fame...jajajjaja

Anonymous said...

Texcoco Mex said.

This is the type of things I like to read about.
Why not get the publicity? You are doing something good.

Anonymous said...

If we had the Women of Mexico in charge of Mexico, there would be no crimes.

Anonymous said...

If we had the Women of Mexico in charge of Mexico, there would be no crimes.

there is a saying about something along the lines of, let the Putas govern us because their children couldnt.

Anonymous said...

I meant that the last thing she should have been worried about was taking footage....that's all.

I live in Monterrey and this is big news. Good for her but posting it on twitter was a bold move...why did she post it? Why did she take the video anyway? Just curious.

I do have the love of a Mexican woman as well and it's great.

Anonymous said...

excelente ms. rivera alanis

Anonymous said...

This teacher is heroic. She saved all those children from what could have been a traumatic incident.

Anonymous said...

Ann Frank kept a diary during her almost two years of hiding from the Nazi regime it is now a record of the events that transpired.
technology has advanced some since 1944 but this teacher took a video of the events that could have been been the end of any one in that classroom. I am glad we have a record of the events that transpired in her classroom.

Anonymous said...

Dunno, if it was such a good idea to post her face and full identity all over the news. I applaud her effort and actions but history has shown these drug cartel assholes are vindictive! Anything displaying them in a bad light or they perceive as insulting usually ends up with a murder! Hopefully, she'll be safe but were talking Mexico..personal safety can never be assured!

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