Thursday, December 7, 2023

Farmers block highways to protest cuts in financial aid

Thousands of farmers erected blockades at 42 locations in 14 states today to demand that the government release additional funds to support the agricultural sector.

Protests started just after 8:00am on roads in the states of México, Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Sinaloa, Morelos, Jalisco, Nayarit, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Michoacán, San Luis Potosí, Chihuahua and Campeche.

Among the roads blocked were the federal highway between Oaxaca and Puebla, the Mexico City-Querétaro highway at kilometer 122, the Tres Marías toll both in Morelos, the La Tinaja-Acayucan highway in Veracruz and the Ciudad Victoria-Matamoros highway in Tamaulipas.

Access to the Oaxaca city airport was also blocked.

Farmers are angry that agriculture and rural funding was cut by 20% in the government’s 2019 budget. Some are also demanding the delivery of free fertilizer and other aid they were promised.

President López Obrador this morning recommended farmers not waste their time because the government won’t be pressured into ceding to their demands.

“. . . We’re not going to give in at all, none of this ‘we’ll take a highway and reach an agreement as long as you give us so many tonnes of fertilizer.’ Save your time, that’s not accepted anymore,” he said.

The president added that farmers who are protesting for a valid reason will be attended to but for those who are seeking to benefit unfairly or steal, “the corruption is over.”

López Obrador also said that the representatives of some agricultural organizations are upset because the government is distributing aid directly to farmers.

But he declared that the days of union leaders taking a cut of government aid for themselves is over, reiterating “support is now direct to the producer.”

Source: Reforma (sp), El Financiero (sp) 

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