Thursday, June 13, 2024

Teachers protest in Colima after state pleads insolvency, misses payroll

Teachers in Colima blocked a highway in the state capital on both Saturday and Monday to demand the payment of their salaries after the outgoing Governor José Ignacio Peralta said last Thursday that no money was available.

The protesters used tractor-trailers, cars and other vehicles to obstruct traffic for more than three hours on both days on Colima-Guadalajara highway.

The local head of the SNTE teacher’s union, Heriberto Valladares Ochoa, said the money for salaries for the second half of July was used instead to pay off bank debt. “Insensitively, [Governor Peralta] preferred to take the resources already budgeted by Congress for our pay to deal with the liabilities with the banks,” he said.

The governor said last Thursday that the state was too short of funds to pay salaries for state workers and pensions, affecting 8,000 people. “We are not in a financial position to to pay the second half of July,” he said, and argued that the insolvency was due to the Covid-19 pandemic rather than financial mismanagement. He added that the pandemic had necessitated the use of 1 billion pesos (about US $50 million) for short term loans.

“I know the repercussions this generates, people have payment commitments … but we have explored each and every possible option,” he said. He added that federal law left him with no choice but to pay off the loans before the end of his mandate.

The state Congress has summoned Peralta and former state finance minister Carlos Arturo Noriega to appear before Congress on Wednesday to explain the hole in the public purse.

Peralta’s mandate ends on October 31. For the first time in more than 70 years, Colima elected a governor from a party other than the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the June 6 election. Morena candidate Indira Vizcaíno Silva will assume the post.

With reports from Reforma and AF Medios

Have something to say? Paid Subscribers get all access to make & read comments.
Refugees displaced by an armed attack on their Chiapas town stand in the bleachers of a open air sports court and look at proceedings below through a protective wire fence

Over 4,000 residents flee Chiapas town following armed attack

6
Thousands in the Chiapas town who fled a June 4 armed attack by a criminal group refuse to go home until authorities can ensure their safety.
An endangered vaquita swimming in the ocean

May vaquita porpoise survey finds fewer specimens than in 2023

0
The survey, which takes place annually in Mexico’s Upper Gulf of California, recorded the lowest-ever number of individual vaquitas.
Man in uniform and hard hat spraying auditorium seats for mosquitos, surrounded by pesticide fumes.

Study shows dengue cases in Mexico primed for widespread expansion

0
As dengue cases in Mexico continue to rise in 2024, a new study predicts that the mosquito-borne virus will affect 81% of Mexico by 2039.