Tag Archives: Martín Esparza

AMLO starts prepping for 2012

Andrés Manuel López Obrador celebrated three years as the country’s “legitimate president” with a rally in Mexico City’s Zocalo a week prior to President Calderón’s commemoration. AMLO was prominently accompanied by Martín Esparza, the defrocked head of the Luz y Fuerza electrical workers union. AMLO said he had completed his pilgrimage to all 2,430 municipalities across Mexico and was refounding his movement. “Thinking of the transformation of the country, and looking toward 2012, we need to develop a new Alternative Project for the Nation,” he said. AMLO said the platform would be centered on 10 themes: “to rescue the State and put it at the service of the people; democratize the mass media; create a new economy; combat monopolies; abolish tax breaks; practice politics as an ethical imperative grounded in ‘republican austerity;’ strengthen the energy sector; achieve food sovereignty; establish a welfare State; and promote a new current of thought.” AMLO clearly believes his principal opponent in 2012 will be Mexico state governor Enrique Peña Nieto. (Excelsior 11/23)

Luz y Fuerza strikers disrupt city; buyout advances

The SME electrical workers union carried out protests across Mexico City, including blocking traffic on several expressways. There were scattered arrests and occasional use of teargas, but the demonstrations were largely peaceful. The Mexico City police estimated 100,000 marchers reached the Zocalo to hear defrocked union chief Martín Esparza speak. The Government’s offer of a special bonus payment to Luz y Fuerza workers who accepted the liquidation expired; more than 27,000, or 61% of those eligible, accepted the buyout. (Universal 11/12, 11/15)

Calderón orders Luz y Fuerza liquidated

As the country celebrated the 4-1 victory over El Salvador that guaranteed Mexico a slot in next year’s World Cup competition, President Felipe Calderón ordered the military to secure the installations of Luz y Fuerza del Centro (LFC), the state owned electrical utility that serves Mexico City and surrounding states, and signed a decree liquidating the company. LFC operations were taken over without incident by CFE, the other government owned utility. In a televised speech, the President said, “Unfortunately, most of the resources that [LFC] got from the hands of the Mexican people didn’t go to improve service, but to pay onerous labor privileges and perks, which were getting worse year by year. … There weren’t any other options, since time and resources were running out.” The president emphasized that privatization was not in the cards, and that a new state-owned company would be created. While the takeover had been anticipated, the timing took most, including the SME electrical workers’ union, by surprise. SME leader Martín Esparza vowed to fight the liquidation “to the death” through legal actions and protest marches.