Hidalgo residents fed up with unfinished infrastructure projects in their communities forcibly removed two transportation officials from their offices in Pachuca and forced the two to march with them in a protest on Thursday.
Hidalgo delegate of the federal Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), Ignacio Meza Echeverría, and SCT highways official Deyanira Rosales were forced to carry protest signs for over three hours while they walked the highway toward Mexico City.
Residents of the Valle del Mezquital region had been protesting outside the SCT offices in Pachuca for a week to demand that the government finish several public works projects.
Meza met with them on Thursday morning and told them that there were no funds in the budget allocated to completing the projects. The citizens then expressed their anger and coerced him and Rosales into marching with them toward the national capital.
Their rage was also directed at reporters who arrived to cover the protest. They attacked the journalists in efforts to expel them from the march, which blocked traffic on the Mexico City-Pachuca highway.
After more than three hours, state police and National Guard troops intervened to stop the advance of the march.
The two public officials were rescued near the Hidalgo C5i security headquarters in the vicinity of Acayuca and taken to a nearby hospital for medical examinations.
The SCT released a statement condemning the violent actions taken against its employees and members of the press.
“The Ministry of Communication and Transportation is in solidarity with the public servants … who were attacked. It also regrets the attacks committed against representatives of the media,” it said.
“The SCT is and always will be respectful of legal channels for resolving differences and energetically condemns the violent events that occurred in Hidalgo today.”
Federal Communication and Transportation Minister Javier Jiménez Espriú personally denounced the citizens’ actions on Twitter.
“In the SCT we neither extort nor accept extortions. Respectful dialogue and the law are the only acceptable courses of action,” he said.