Mexico: farmers block roads to protest fuel prices
On Jan. 22, followers of the Rural Reactivation Movement (Movimiento por la Reactivación del Campo) occupied the offices of Mexico's Agriculture Secretariat in five municipalities and blocked six roads in northern Chihuahua state, pledging to maintain the protest campaign until the government reduces the price of diesel fuel, raises the price of maize and wheat, addresses outstanding land claim disputes, and approves early release of pledged resources from the Procampo rural aid program.
Víctor Quintana, a federal deputy with the left-opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and one of the leaders of the movement, said that offices were under occupation in Jiménez, Delicias, Lázaro Cárdenas, Flores Magón and Cuauhtémoc. Roads were blocked in the municipalities of Jiménez, Delicias, Lázaro Cárdenas, Villa Ahumada, Namiquipa and Parral. (Officially the Secretariat of Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food Resources, the department goes by the acronym SAGARPA.)
Quintana pledged that the Government Palace in the state capital, Ciudad Chihuahua, would also be blockaded next week, and that farmers would bring tractors and other equipment as well as animals to the barricades. They would later that week caravan north to Ciudad Juárez and blockade the international bridge leading to El Paso, TX. (El Diario, Ciudad Juárez, Jan. 23)
Mexican fishermen also recently went on strike over fuel prices.
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