Leaders of a farmers’ protest in Mexico said if negotiations don’t progress with the government of President Andres Manuel López Obrador, the “next blockade” will be twice as large as the first one that blocked 42 locations in some 23 Mexican states.
Farmers are protesting the national budget produced by Obrador, which cut financial aid to rural farmers by as much as 20 percent. Rural farmers also asked for fertilizer and other goods that they said were promised by the government.
“In case the agreements made with [Obrador] are not fulfilled, we apologize to all citizens who were offended because we were blocking the roads,” said Eraclio Rodríguez Gómez, deputy of the Commission on Rural and Agricultural Development and Conservation and Food Self-Sufficiency, in an interview with the newspaper Milenio.com.
Gómez and other protest officials said if they are not satisfied with their negotiations with Obrador, they will commence another countrywide blockade of highways, bridges and possibly airports on August 14.
“The next two weeks will be crucial for the sector, because if there are no agreements, again there will be national blockades,” said Manuel Guerrero Sánchez, president of the National Committee for the Production of Oilseeds.
Around 50,000 farmers throughout Mexico blocked roads and highways, including an eight-hour blockage of the commercial truck lane in both directions on the Mexican side of the Progreso–Nuevo Progreso International Bridge on July 17.
On July 31, several thousand farmers held protests in Mexico City and several Mexican states, regarding the lack of progress in negotiations with Obrador’s government.
Protestors in Puebla, Mexico, blocked a federal highway and demanded $3.3 million in funding they said was promised, as well as fertilizers that the government subsidizes for farmers.