Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Secret Service locks down Mexico City's Zócalo

CNTE will be denied access, after local businesses suffer huge economic losses

Mexico City -
The Mexican government has announced that the Estado Mayor Presidencial (EMP) will remain in the capital city's largest square until at least Sept. 19, to prevent the reentry of striking school teachers who belong to the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE). Members of the powerful labor union occupied the Zócalo, as it is known, for months earlier this year, with the largest contingent arriving from Oaxaca state in southwestern Mexico in late August. They were just dislodged by federal security forces on Friday.

The EMP is a quasi-military tactical unit primarily charged with the duty of protecting the president and first lady of Mexico, and high ranking government officials. It is equivalent to the United States Secret Service.

When Independence Day festivities concluded yesterday, EMP units already on site remained in the sprawling Zócalo, similar in importance to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Streets leading to the area are under EMP, Federal Police and local law enforcement control. CNTE said over the weekend that it planned to reoccupy the Zócalo on Wednesday, Sept. 18. Mexico City labor violence, through the lens.

In a related development, a Mexico City trade organization said yesterday that it is "overwhelmingly opposed" to the return of CNTE.

Canacope-Servytur (Cámara de Comercio, Servicios y Turismo en Pequeño de la Ciudad de México) represents small businesses in the capital city's Centro Histórico, which were hard hit by weeks of CNTE occupancy. A spokesman said, "we cannot afford further damage to our local enterprises, nor interference with Mexico City commerce."

Canacope claims that CNTE's 26 day occupancy and protests cost small business some 750 million pesos, or over $57 million dollars.

And referring to the now month old teachers' strike staged by CNTE, Canacope pointed out that well over a million children remain out of school in Oaxaca and Chiapas states, both of which have large indigenous populations, where tens of thousands of pupils come from economically marginal families.

The trade organization urged federal and local security forces to prevent further civil disorder by CNTE.

Sept. 19 - The Federal District's Secretary of Economic Development has offered a much lower, but still very significant, preliminary estimate of direct economic losses occasioned by the nearly month long occupancy of the Zócalo. He said local businesses lost at least 260 million pesos, or about $20 million dollars. Mexico City was forced to open a line of bank credit of 10 million pesos to "assure liquidity" to many of the 1,828 local enterprises affected by CNTE demonstrations.

Nov. 10 - CNTE agota la paciencia del gobierno del DF

Sept. 4 - Teachers union ups the ante, calling indefinite strike in Chiapas
Aug. 19 - Continued teacher strikes idle almost a million students in Oaxaca

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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