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by ISLE of WIGHT
Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2000 at 7:49 PM
2nd Installment of Western Hemisphere Conference
Written By Alan Benjamin
Typeset and Account Time By Paul Hays
Key Words: SUTAUR 100, Juez Abraham Polo Uzcanga, Mexico City Bus Drivers Union, PRI Corruption, Political Violence in Mexico, Leonel Villafuerte's Criminal Undertakings, Siglo Nuevo Cooperative.
This is page 2...the 2nd Installment.
By Alan Benjamin. Typeset and Account Time By Paul Hays.
Jorge Cuellar Valdez speaks in 1998: "These 3 businesses provide jobs for approximately 3,000 people, but nearly 5,000 of our members ( all of whom paid into the investment fund) still remain without employment. The other 4,000 workers--we were originally 12,000 bus drivers -- were either fired or they accepted their severance package and went to look for jobs elsewhere.
Each of the 3 businesses is managed by an administrative council made up of 3 people. The president of one of the two bus companies, Siglo Nuevo (New Century), is Leonel Villafuerte. He is the past general secretary of our union. I am the treasurer and Fernando Garcia is the secretary.
Villafuerte refused to be bound by the decisions of the administrative council. He flouted all our collective decisions, arguing that he had sole authority given that he was 'president.'
The government picked up on this and established a working relationship with him, behind the backs of the administrative council and the union. A pact was worked out between Villafuerte and the city administration for Siglo Nuevo to break away from the group of cooperative ventures.
The officers and members of the Siglo Nuevo cooperative overwhelmingly rejected the course taken by Villafuerte. They called on him to cease and desist.
This made him furious. He assembled a crash group og 80 goons, and went on a rampage, attacking the members, breaking up our assemblies, and vandalizing the headquarters of the union. They have stolen 38 taxis from out taxi cooperative. And they have issued serious threats against the founders and historic leaders of our union.
Villafuertes gang--all easily identified by a distinctive mark on their right hands--attacked with bottles, sticks, and fists all who voted against his proposals. They are not workers. They are lumpen. They even wounded children of the workers.
El Trabajo Newspaper Continues with the Interview: What is the Political Motive of this group?
Jorge Cuellar Valdez: A number of prominent politicians of the ruling party--the PRI--are intent on seizing for themselves the entire bus transportation system in Mexico City. They are part of the Grupo Atlacomulco (named after a town on the outskirts of the city), which is headed by Carlos Hank Gonzalez (former Mayor of Mexico City and former governor of the state of Mexico) and Oscar Espinoza Villareal (the most recent mayor of the city and currently Secretary of Tourism).
The privatization of the Ruta-100 bus service was a major step in that direction, but the tenacious fight of the workers of the SUTAUR-100 has so far impeded this group from achieving its objective."
Thank you for reading this. Please push traducir button and print copies for Latinos that you can give copies to. Tape them in businesses. Dedicated to the work and love of Al Hendrix and Eric Clapton.
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