Mexican Farmers protesting plans to expropriate their land for a new Mexico City Airport are celebrating a victory after winning concessions from the government and the release of ten of their activist comrades from prison.
Last Thursday 1000 protesters blocked a major highway near Mexico City and took several state workers hostage after the police arrested 12 farmers including 2 protest leaders. At the crux of the dispute are plans to build a $2.3 billion, six-runway airport that takes over an area of over 30 farming communities, land that is the livelihoods of these farmers.
The protesters increased demands on Sunday to include a meeting with President Vincente Fox, more federal farm aid and the withdrawal of police and troops that have surrounded the town.
- John Ross, independent journalist in Mexico. His latest book is “The War Against Oblivion, Common Courage Press: An Eight Year History of Zapatista Rebellion.” He has been covering the dispute over the planned airport for the past year.