The federal highway that connects San Cristóbal with Ocosingo has once again been the scene of a blockade, this time carried out by inhabitants of the municipality of Oxchuc. More than 300 residents of the Mesbilja community, belonging to Oxchuc, have completely closed the road section in the Tzajala town since Tuesday night.
The reason behind this blockade is the demand for payment of 15,000 pesos per inhabitant, which according to the protesters, corresponds to them by the federal government. They allege that this amount is part of the budget of the federation known as FAISMUN, which amounts to a total of $295,191,594 pesos. They argue that this allowance has been an annual custom and that to date they have not received said payment.
Protesters have expressed frustration at the lack of response from the authorities. They assure that they met with representatives of the government and deputies of the congress, but they did not obtain a satisfactory solution. The authorities requested that the blockade be lifted in order to start a dialogue, but the protesters insisted that the payment of the 15,000 pesos per inhabitant had to be made first before the blockade is lifted.
The situation has left dozens of motorists stranded on the highway, who patiently await the reopening of the pass. However, the Tzeltal indigenous people of Oxchuc have made it clear that the blockade is total and that they will only allow people with urgent medical needs to pass through, as long as they present a medical order, prescription or medical appointment. Otherwise, they will be charged a fee ranging between 300 and 500 pesos to allow them to pass.
Affected motorists are demanding the application of the rule of law in the area, since road blockades are a recurring problem that particularly harms carriers. Drivers, mostly employees, are forced to hand over part of their earnings to their employers due to delays and diversions caused by roadblocks between San Cristóbal, Oxchuc and Ocosingo, and vice versa.
Source: El Heraldo de Chiapas