Businesses will turn off lights in protest against electrical tariffs

Yucatán business leaders expect 1,000 firms to participate in hour-long black-out

At least 1,000 business in Yucatán are expected to turn off the electricity for an hour on November 13 in protest against the increase in electrical tariffs.

Business leader Juan Manuel Díaz Ponce told a press conference that the hour-long “mega-blackout” has been scheduled despite an announcement that tariffs would drop between 12% and 17% this month and next. The head of the state chapter of the Business Coordinating Council said some businesses have been hit with rate hikes as high as 300%.

He accused the Energy Regulatory Commission of doing nothing to resolve the issue.

Díaz and other business leaders also blamed President Peña Nieto and president-elect López Obrador for a lack of political will to find a solution.

Díaz quoted figures from the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives that showed the tariff increases have had a negative impact on local firms’ finances and investment and caused the loss of more than 7,500 jobs throughout Yucatán.

“We will not stop paying [our power bills], but we are studying other protest measures to fight the high rates,” said Díaz.

One measure will be a complaint before Profeco, the consumer protection agency. He said the collective complaint by some 1,000 businesses will be made once the documentation has been prepared, likely in two weeks.

Next Tuesday’s protest will take place between 7:00pm and 8:00pm.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Universal (sp)

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