A group of 40 mayors from the coastal and southern mountain regions of Oaxaca will head to Mexico City on Monday to protest cuts to federal aid to their municipalities.
The so-called “Anti-Cutback Municipal Front,” led by San Pedro Mixtepec Mayor Fredy Gil Pineda Gopar, will protest cuts to two programs that provide aid to marginalized communities, another program that assists working mothers with children and Fortaseg, which oversees the funding of measures to improve security in rural communities.
According to Gil, 60% of the municipalities in Oaxaca that previously received assistance from Fortaseg will not be included in the program this year. He added that because of federal cuts that slashed the program’s budget by 1 billion pesos, only 100 municipalities will receive funding from Fortaseg in 2019.
The mayors will also protest a lack of federal assistance for infrastructure projects in their communities, such as the construction of drainage and sewage systems.
According to social development agency Coneval, almost all the protesters represent communities that are considered among the most marginalized in Oaxaca, one of Mexico’s poorest states.
The mayors will hold a rally in front of the National Palace and erect blockades on Reforma and Constituyentes avenues.
Gil said that they hope to meet with President López Obrador, Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero and Security Chief Alfonso Durazo and to be received by Congress.
In 2013, Gil armed 400 civilians and headed the first community defense group in Oaxaca after the municipality of Santos Reyes Nopales was taken over by organized crime.
This week he warned that he would not rule out the possibility of occupying the Chamber of Deputies if the group’s objections are not heard.