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Trucks wait yesterday near the border. Trucks wait yesterday near the border.

Protest snarls traffic at Nuevo Laredo border crossing

Frustrated and dissatisfied relatives of missing persons took their protest to a truck crossing on the United States border at Nuevo Laredo yesterday morning, snarling traffic in both directions until well into the night.

At least 120 people, who have held several protests in the Tamaulipas border city in the last few weeks, shut down the World Trade Bridge at 9:30am, halting the flow of cargo trucks traveling between Tamaulipas and Texas.

At least 15,000 trucks cross the bridge every day.

Nuevo Laredo Mayor Rafael Pedraza Domínguez went to the crossing yesterday afternoon in an attempt to persuade the protesters to leave and promised to hold talks with them. But they refused and maintained the blockade until about 11:00pm.

The protesters claim they have filed 43 formal complaints over disappearances in Nuevo Laredo but justice officials have not responded.

“We are demanding justice,” said Estela González, who lodged a complaint about a missing nephew-in-law. “Alive or dead or however they may be, we want to know what happened to them.”

Carrying signs reading “We demand justice for our disappeared,” “Navy, no more violence,” and “No more blood,” they also accused navy personnel of their involvement in the disappearance of relatives who had been illegally arrested.

The Federal Police maintained a patrol at the bridge for the duration of the protest, but did not intervene.

The spokesperson for an association of export manufacturers raised an alarm at the start of the protest, advising clients to avoid making any shipments until traffic was moving again.

It also alleged that armed individuals had committed acts of violence against drivers.

Source: El Universal (sp), CBS (en)

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