Airport protesters raise their machetes in defiance against the project. Airport protesters raise their machetes in defiance against the project.

Armed with machetes, Atenco residents call for meeting with López Obrador

They took their protest to the new government's transition headquarters

More petitioners turned up yesterday at the transition headquarters of Mexico’s new government in Mexico City, but on this occasion they were armed with machetes.

Opponents of the new Mexico City airport joined the usual crowd of people seeking aid from president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador at his offices in La Roma.

Bearing machetes and a technical study, residents of Atenco demanded the new administration meet with them to review and discuss the options.

“La decision está tomada,” they chanted, “el aeropuerto a la chingada,” or “the decision has been made, to hell with the airport.”

Spokesman América del Valle said they want López Obrador to meet with them, just as he met with the organization building the new facility and with businessman Carlos Slim, who defended the project after López Obrador spoke out against it.

Del Valle said they want to see the project — “the airport of death” — cancelled.

He said his organization had scientific and technical evidence showing that the project was neither viable nor sustainable, and that “it is devastating the entire Mexico Valley watershed.”

López Obrador was a vocal opponent of the airport during his election campaign for president, but has since softened his stand.

Machete-wielding protesters successfully shut down an earlier attempt to build a new airport in the capital. Then-president Vicente Fox cancelled the project in 2002 following violent protests by communal landowners. They too were from Atenco.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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