Farmers leader Ortiz, center. Farmers' leader Ortiz, center.

Farmers’ leader threatens blockades, says AMLO taught him how

Tamaulipas citrus growers object to fruit imports, reductions in government support

The leader of a Tamaulipas farmers’ organization is not afraid of the possible consequences of blocking highways and international bridges on the Mexico-United States border because President López Obrador taught him how.

Rogelio Ortiz Moreno, president of the San Fernando farmers’ association, said he did not fear retaliation by the federal government because he learned blockade tactics from the president himself.

“He paid me 500 pesos to travel from Río Bravo to the zócalo in Mexico City to protest when he lost the presidential elections in years past . . I learned from him: the president of Mexico was my teacher. He brought us in, he paid us, and from there I learned how to stage a protest.”

Citrus farmers in Tamaulipas began protesting more than two months ago to demand the government stop importing large quantities of fruit from other countries.

The producers also complain of cuts to government agricultural support programs.

Yesterday, the association threatened to blockade highways and border crossings if the government did not respond favorably within 72 hours.

It plans to meet next week with farmers from Sonora, Sinaloa, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and Guanajuato to mount a united protest against the federal government.

Source: Milenio (sp), La Prensa (sp)

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