plans for the airport may be modified.
profrv at nex.net.au
Sun Apr 4 22:12:12 PDT 1999
San Salvador Atenco Erupts Against Mexican Government
On July 11, hundreds of farmers from the areas of San Salvador Atenco and
Texcoco, 18 miles south of Mexico City, rebelled against the Mexican
government's attempts to take their land in order to build airport runways.
The towns have protested since October 22, 2001, when the federal
government announced its plans to expropriate more than 10,000 acres of
farmland for a new airport.
The uprising started when farmers attempted to blockade a road in response
to a tour of the area by a government official. They were attacked by riot
police, and responded with sticks, rocks, machetes, and gasoline bombs.
Seventeen government officials and police were taken hostage over the next
several days as a means of exchange for farmers arrested in earlier protests.
Over the next four days, thousands of demonstrators, bolstered by
supporters from around Mexico, organized their municipal response and
barricaded themselves in their towns, including Acuexcomac, Atenco,
Magdalena Panoaya, and Tocuila as a defense from raids by the federal
Mexican police. They barricaded the main roads in the towns and access to
freeways, with piles of tires, tractor-trailers, Coca-Cola trucks, and
burned police cars. At the same time, Mexican military forces and police
surrounded the towns.
On July 14, the Mexican government released 11 jailed farmers in an effort
to resolve the hostage situation. All prisoners held by the protestors were
released on Monday, July 15, the remaining farmers were freed, and the
Mexican government conceded that plans for the airport may be modified.
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