Eight days of protests by ejidatarios at the Miguel Hidalgo International Airport in Guadalajara cost an estimated 60 million pesos (over US $3.2 million) in losses, according to the facility’s operator, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP).
The company cited the losses in a legal complaint filed last month against the community landowners of the El Zapote ejido, triggering a court order that the protest cease.
But the ejidatarios continue to occupy parts of the airport as part of a longstanding dispute in which the landowners claim they have not been fully compensated for the land on which it sits.
A judge ruled November 23 that the occupation was illegal and ordered the protesters to leave the airport’s parking area, access points and a construction site.
In a prepared statement, GAP stated that previous legal decisions have confirmed the validity of their operating licenses and the state’s ownership of the airport lands.
The company has asked authorities to enforce the ruling and have the protesters removed. It claims that the occupation has caused inconvenience to passengers as well as the 60-million-peso revenue loss.
GAP believes the ejidatarios intend to “harm, damage and extort” passengers and the firm itself in order to obtain money to which they are not legally entitled.
The airport operator said it would continue with legal action until it had obtained “compensation for the damages and losses caused” and punishment for the ejidatarios.
The protesters are allowing passengers and and other users of airport services to enter the parking lot free of charge, a move that has been well received by the latter, who claim that parking fees are high.
Some have expressed their support and sympathy for the ejidatarios‘ demands.
Beatriz Cháves, the landowners’ spokeswoman, warned that the judge’s ruling was unlawful, because any legal action in the matter should originate with the federal Secretariat of Communications and Transportation.