Thursday, June 13, 2024

Health care workers hold governor’s wife hostage in Tabasco

The Tabasco governor’s wife was trapped inside her car for more than six hours yesterday after disgruntled health workers confronted her at a Villahermosa hospital and prevented her from leaving.

Martha Lilia López Aguilera, wife of Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) Governor Arturo Núñez Jiménez, went to the state capital’s Children’s Hospital to visit her grandson, a patient in the hospital.

As she was leaving, a group of medical personnel, supported by patients’ family members, approached López in the hospital parking lot to demand overdue salary and bonus payments as well as additional funding to purchase medical equipment and supplies and to employ more staff.

López didn’t engage with the protesting workers, but instead got into her SUV and turned on the ignition in an attempt to make a quick exit. However, her car was quickly surrounded by health care workers shouting “Pay us!”

They demanded that the state’s first lady get out of the vehicle and explain how the hospital’s issues would be resolved.

The incident came amid a four-day strike by hospital workers and as Núñez reaches the end of his six-year term as governor. A new governor representing President López Obrador’s Morena party will be sworn in on January 1.

The state’s secretaries of public security and health, Jorge Alberto Aguirre Carbajal and Rommel Cerna Leeder, arrived at the hospital to try to defuse the situation but failed to convince the protesters to withdraw.

Local media reported that 20 police vehicles and a helicopter as well as members of the governor’s personal security detail were later sent to monitor the situation.

At approximately 6:30pm, amid pushing and shoving from the protesters, state police managed to clear a path to allow López to leave in her vehicle.

State Interior Secretary Rosendo Gómez Piedra subsequently announced that outstanding payments owed to health care workers would be made today.

He said the payments had been scheduled to be paid today and denied that it was a consequence of the Tabasco first lady’s ordeal.

Source: Infobae (sp), Milenio (sp) 

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