Hundreds of Mexican campesinos, accompanied by 40 tractors, marched in Ciudad Juarez, in the northern state of Chihuahua, on Jan. 18 to launch the “Chamizal to the Zocalo” caravan, a 2,000-km ride to protest the elimination of tariffs on staples under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Organized by the Francisco Villa Campesino Resistance Movement, the caravan’s route goes from El Chamizal Park, Juarez—at the border with El Paso, Texas—to Mexico City’s main plaza, the Zocalo, where the protesters are to join a Jan. 31 demonstration against NAFTA planned by a broad range of groups.
The march started with a 40-minute blockade of the Cordoba international bridge. The protesters then marched through the center of Juarez, joined by other groups, including hundreds of teachers protesting changes in Social Security. On Jan. 19 the caravan arrived in Chihuahua city, where local residents brought food and offered the protesters places to stay. The caravan is to pass through the states of Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Queretaro and Mexico on its way to Mexico City. (La Jornada, Jan. 19, Jan. 20)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Jan. 20