07 Feb

Blocking highways in Mexico a successful tactic for protestors

news coverage monitoring

Local citizens protesting the disappearance of a women in the south of Mexico City blocked entrances to two major highways Friday, Feb. 5 causing a nine-hour traffic pileup on the start of a major holiday weekend. The heavily used roadways link the city with the resort towns of Cuernavaca and Acapulco.

Policy and local authorities were forced to negotiate and reach an agreement with the protestors in order to re-open the highways.

The protestors’ success at getting their demands met means motorists can expect more of the same in the future.

Police conducted a search for the missing women after the highways were blocked, according to reporting by the leftist newspaper La Jornada in Mexico City.

Reporting by the website La Silla Rota warned motorists returning to Mexico from the holiday weekend to first check the status of more potential protests. The return highway from Cuernavaca was expected to be shut down by protestors in the afternoon.

The success of the protestors takes highway shutdowns to another level in Mexico, proving the government will not change its hands-off policy, leaving motorists trapped in traffic to fend for themselves for hours at a time.

Instead of forcing the protestors to open the roadways which they closed for more than eight hours, Marti Batres, a high-level city official, met with the protestors and assured them he would open an investigation into the woman’s disappearance, according to a report appearing in the newspaper Publimetro.

Since the tactic worked so well for the protestors, motorists should prepare for more massive highway shutdowns in Mexico in the future.

The tradition of blocking roadways is well established in Mexico. Protestors have taken over toll booths on the major highway to Acapulco, collecting tolls and remaining in control of the toll booths for months at a time.