Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Mexicans battle private motorway

LOCAL resistance has halted the building of a controversial new motorway through a self-built settlement near Mexico City.

Reports Narco News: "When Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard and his government announced its plan to build a private superhighway from the south of the city to the country’s bustling and affluent Santa Fe financial district in the west, they didn’t have a plan for an organized resistance arising from the residents of La Malinche, a colonia that is set to be destroyed by the construction.

"Ever since the government brought its first bulldozer into the neighborhood to demolish buildings in July, residents have successfully halted construction. They organized an indefinite sit-in to protect their neighborhood.

"For more than 30 days now, the government has been unable to build, and the people of La Malinche, who have now created the Frente Amplio contra la Supervía Poniente (Broad Front Against the Western Superhighway), say they aren’t planning on going anywhere.

"Located outside of Mexico City’s subway system in the southwest, La Malinche is a neighborhood of housing projects and buildings that crawl up a steep incline to a hill that overlooks the city. The narrow streets leading up to the hill bend frequently, giving the impression of a maze, and on the walls in the colonia there are spray painted slogans that proclaim 'No to the superhighway!' and curse the city’s mayor.

"The city government is continuing with its plans to build the private highway. Barred from La Malinche, construction crews and their machines have already begun work in La Angostura, a colonia located on the opposite side of the hill, where residents have been forced to leave their homes.

"Neighbors don’t want to end up like the people in La Angostura, and they don’t want to see the government and a foreign corporation ruin what took their families decades to build. 'Our parents and grandparents fought so that we can be talking here,' says José Lopez Perez, 24, who helps guard one of the plantones. 'Today, now it’s we young people’s turn to fight for this place'."