Communal landowners from Acuexcomac, Atenco, were attacked by “gunshots and fists” and forced out of the camping spot they had maintained for months at a road in order to block vehicles transporting construction material into the New International Airport of Mexico City (NAICM), reported the Peoples’ Front in Defense of Land (FPDT).
Witnesses say that more than 100 people arrived in trucks and starting shooting and throwing rocks at the people protesting on Tuesday. The FPDT claims they belonged to shock groups financed by the Pinfra and CIPSA constructing firms, under the blessing of all levels of government, to liberate the road. About 15 people were injured during the attack.
The affected people then gathered at Atenco’s main square to demand that Mayor Andres Ruiz and Commissar Alejandro Santiago “show their faces, because both authorities were directly responsible for the invasion, the concessions and businesses with the tolls and roads since 2013.”
The FPDT and Campesinos of Atenco came to assist the people of Acuexcomac when they found out about the repression.
“Our attacked partners were the ones that sold their lands for the construction of the highway, but if there’s something about us is that we unite when there’s something going on,” said Trinidad Ramirez, from the FPDT.
The Campesinos from Acuexcomac gave up a fraction of their land for the construction of a highway and decided to block it as they have not received the corresponding payments from the tolling system.
The Front and the people of Acuexcomac decided to block the Texcoco-Lecheria federal road in response to the attacks, and to demand a dialogue with the companies administering the tolling system and the construction of the airport.
They hold President Enrique Peña Nieto, his Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI), Carso Group, Carlos Slim and political and economical mafias responsible “who were condemned in the massive voting on July 1.”
Even though the people of Atenco and the FPDT is completely against selling their lands for large-scale projects such as highways or the NAICM, said Ramirez, that doesn’t stop them from supporting other peoples that sold their lands and now are resisting against the companies and government’s lack of commitment.
The front announced there was an encounter between the people of Acuexcomac and state authorities later that day, but the outcome of the meeting is unknown.
Canceling the construction of the NAICM was one of the main campaign promises of the now president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, but with time he softened his discourse and now claims there will be a national debate and referendum to decide its fate. The people that live in the lands where the airport is being built have rejected any airport on their lands and denied being consulted about it beforehand.