Saturday, June 15, 2024

Protest blocking access to Terminal 1 at Mexico City International Airport ends

Dozens of protesters demanding the return of their money from a defunct financial institution blocked access to Terminal 1 at Benito Juarez International Airport (AICM) in Mexico City on Thursday.

The protest began at 9:30 a.m. and the blockages bled over into the afternoon, according to the traffic bureau of Mexico’s Public Security Ministry.

Travelers had to walk to the terminal as vehicular access was blocked. (ROGELIO MORALES/CUARTOSCURO.COM)

Finally, at 2 p.m., transit authority OVIAL announced the end of the blockade via social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “Circulation is restored on Av. Capitán Carlos León from the Interior Circuit at the height of Terminal 1 of the AICM [though] protesters remain on the sidewalk area.”

Calling themselves “Savers Defrauded by Ficrea,” the protesters demanded that the federal government get their money back from Sociedad Financiera Popular Ficrea SA de CV, a company that offered investment, savings and credit services.

Launched in 2008, Ficrea was authorized and regulated by the federal government through the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV). In 2014, it was decertified and has since filed for bankruptcy and its owner, Rafael Antonio Olvera Amezcua, stands accused of involvement in organized crime and operations with resources of illicit origin.

The fraud reportedly affected 6,848 people, and the protest would indicate that at least some of those affected have been left high and dry.

Ficrea protests 2014
The collapse of Ficrea in 2014 affected thousands of Mexican savers, who were left without access to their money. (Rodolfo Angulo/Cuartoscuro)

The protesters were shouting and holding up banners demanding the full return of their money, which in many cases was savings from their paychecks. Public financial institutions (SOFIPO) are for-profit companies that focus their business in rural areas, though Ficrea had many customers in Mexico City.

With most access roads to Terminal 1 blocked between 10:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m., many travelers exited their vehicles and walked to the airport. Later, airport vehicles began to offer rides, although people could still be seen walking with their suitcases.

“Fortunately, we arrived early enough to catch our plane,” said Gerardo González, who was heading for a flight home to Monterrey, Nuevo León. “We were able to walk without a problem. But for those who just arrived [at the height of the road blockages], well, that’s where I think they will be affected.”

With reports from El Universal, El Heraldo de México and Expansión Política

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