Justice in Mexico

Mexican Kindergarten Teacher Honored for Courage During a Gunfight Outside of Her Class

Martha Rivera receiving her award. Photo Credit: El Nacional

06/01/2011— A kindergarten teacher in Monterrey, Martha Ivette Rivera Alanís, is now being called the “Bravest Teacher in Mexico” by numerous news sources in recognition of her ability to calm her students with nursery rhymes during a gunfight that broke out between rival drug cartels outside of her classroom on May 27. In a video that surfaced on YouTube from a parent, it shows Rivera Alanís calling out for her students to duck and cover, while she calms them by singing nursery rhyme, “Gotitas de chocolate.” The teacher took the video on her cell phone during the gunfight.

Rivera Alanís was honored formally by Nuevo León Governor Rodrigo Medina in the government palace in Monterrey with a plaque for her honorable act, although in response to all of the buzz, she says that it is part of her job and that she along with the other teachers at her school are used to these drills. She also stated that she does not see herself as a hero, noting that they only exist in comic books, but said that she is very proud to receive such a prestigious honor. Rivera Alanís is also responsible for the security program at her school.

Since the shooting that occurred outside of Rivera Alanis’ school, at least five people have been assassinated in the greater Monterrey area, according to El Nacional. The source also reports that since 2010, northeastern Mexico, where Monterrey is located, a battle has occurred between Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, two of the larger criminal organizations operating in Mexico.

To view the YouTube video, click on this link.


“Mexico Honours School Teacher.” Al-Jazeera. May 30, 2011.

BBC Mundo. “Martha Rivera: la “maestra más valiente de México”, no cree en héroes.” El Nacional. May 31, 2011.

“Martha Rivera Alanís acalló con canto el ruido de las balas.”La Gaceta. May 31, 2011.

García, Luis. “Reconocen a maestra heroica.” Milenio. May 31, 2011.

YouTube video.

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