Close to 100 protesters set up a blockade of the Acapulco-Chilpancingo highway in Guerrero early Tuesday morning to demand the return of normal medical services in their community.
Residents of Xaltianguis and community police gathered at 9:30 am to seal off the major highway’s access through the town, part of the municipality of Acapulco, using mototaxis, taxis, police vans and personal vehicles.
The spokesperson for a community group said that although the town’s medical facilities are adequate, there are not enough doctors to meet the community’s needs. Daniel Adame Pompa also complained that the municipal director of health, Agustín Flores, has not visited the community for several weeks and has not responded to repeated requests for a meeting.
“We don’t have medical attention like we did before; seven years ago there were even two shifts [at the medical clinic] and we had medical attention, but that has all disappeared now, and we want them to tell us why . . . . We’re not asking for anything new; we’re asking them to observe what we once had, but no one wants to give us an answer.”
Another community leader, Primo Chávez Morales, said the community also lacks medications.
“If the people are currently blocking the highway, it is because we need them to stock the hospital with all of the different medicines we need. The town has many inhabitants, which is why the number of medical consultations has increased. We also need specialists so that patients can receive proper treatment.”
He added that Xaltianguis needs at least five doctors to be able to adequately attend the town’s population of 25,000.
Adame said the town previously received additional aid that the municipal government abruptly stopped when residents formed their own citizens’ defense group.
The spokesperson said the blockade would continue until Flores agreed to meet with community leaders. He also demanded the health director’s resignation for his failure to attend to the public’s needs.
Behind him, Adame’s demand was echoed on handwritten signs held by frustrated residents while vehicles continued to arrive at the growing line at the entrance to the town.