Friday, December 5, 2014

México: Peña Nieto Promises Federal Help in Guerrero After 43 Teaching Students Disappear

According to The Latin American Tribune, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has undertaken his first visit to the southern state of Guerrero to tackle the crisis caused by the disappearance of 43 students more than two months ago, and announce measures for economic stimulation in the region.

Economic activity and tourism has witnessed a slump as a consequence of the protests, some of them violent that have rocked the state  attributed to the mass-casualty university disappearance that most Mexicans believe are long-since dead.

Demonstrations and the blocking of roads, offices and businesses have led to a drop in economic activity, employment and tourist arrivals.

COMMENT: While the Mexican President endeavors to conveniently forget 
that 20,000 Mexicans have disappeared since 2006, such a huge number of people that were loved by families is a national tragedy.

“This obligates the government of the Republic (of México) to come here and address the people, like it has been doing to the entire nation. We will take actions to reactivate the economy of these tourist spots of Guerrero,” Peña Nieto said Thursday in Acapulco.

The president also expressed his solidarity with the people, who are one of the poorest and most backward in the country, regarding the case of the 43 missing university students which was a result of a conspiracy between the then mayor of Iguala (and his wife) and drug cartels in Guerrero.

On September 26, the 43 students were detained by police in Iguala, and handed over to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, which allegedly killed then and burned their bodies, some of whom were burned alive.

Iguala mayor José Luís Abarca Velazquez and his wife are linked to the  to the students’ disappearance and are in custody.

While the president was visiting Acapulco, the families of the victims, who refuse to accept that the students are dead without definite evidence, met with Attorney General Jesús Murillo and Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio to learn about progress in the investigation.

In Acapulco, the president said that the Iguala incident was a sad one and caused widespread indignation, leading the authorities to undertake an introspection as to why the tragedy occurred.

Peña Nieto announced several incentives to reactivate tourism in the state including special security forces to ensure the safety of tourists and a 50% reduction in toll duty at a major highway that connects to the capital.

The plan includes fiscal benefits for the taxpayers of Acapulco, Chilpancingo, Iguala, Taxco and Zihuatanejo, a special fund for small businesses at risk of bankruptcy and a temporary employment program that will benefit 130,000 families.

He also requested Transport and Communications Minister Gerardo Ruiz to negotiate lower airfare with major airlines for tourists.

The measures are a part of the security and economic strategy to eliminate corruption and crime announced by the president last week, which also includes the creation of special economic zones in the poorer states of México, among other measures.

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