Fishermen Protest City Hall

A group of more than 200 fishermen protested City Hall in Puerto Peñasco – claiming a lack of attention from local councilmen to an invitation they made to expose the problems related to their profession.

The main reason of their protest, according to their representative Saúl Carrillo, from the association Juventud Perdida en el Mar (‘Youth lost at the Sea’) was that on November 6, all the local councilmen were invited to a fishermen’s reunion at the installations of the Art Shack, but no one from the City Council came but the PRD councilman Fernando García Pacheco.

This caused a great deal of upset and anger, classifying it as a slap in the face using “white gloves”, and causing an uprising against the councilmen that lasted more than 5 hours on Friday, demanding attention to their complaints.

The protest started on Plaza del Camarón (The ;Shrimp’s square;), where the fishermen deployed their signs about the “ineptitude” and lack of care to the fishermen, and taking by surprise the City Hall in a peaceful way, demanding that the Councilmen came down to apologize to the fishermen’s association for their lack of interest to the invitation previously extended.

The Council member most affected by this situation was Kenia Castañeda Nevares, which manifested that she could not assist to the fishermen’s invitation because her children came out from school at 1:00 pm, and this caused that an enraged Alfonso Avilez answered her that if she could not comply with the obligations of their charge, she should resign, because they must be available to serve the citizens during working hours.

At that moment things started to heat up and elements of Public security had to intervene to protect the City Hall, with the result of the PRD’s councilmen Fernando García Pacheco being mistreated by the police force, when they did not permit him access to the stairs that lead to the main office of President Heriberto Renteria Sanchez, with councilman Ulises Perez Muñoz and another 200 people as witness of this situation.

The reaction was immediate and the Municipal President had to intervene in this conflict, receiving the leaders of this protest to ask the reasons for their actions.

Saul Carrillo expressed to President Renteria that the cause for the protest was mainly because the councilmen did not attend to the invitation made by the fishermen to sit down and discuss the problems and demands that they were making for the last 2 years, insisting that they want the Pier’s crane for the benefit of the fishermen’s community, because this is a business and is in the hands of the fishing boat builders.

He also exposed that many fishermen are founders of and that they were left out from the plans of infrastructure development. Another request made to the municipal president was about the shortage of housing for the fishermen, because many among them do not have a house and they have lived and worked on this harbor all their life.

The Major Heriberto Renteria Sanchez, at the request of the city council, made it clear that they made great progress for this fishermen’s cooperative, granting them authorization for the use of the pier’s ground, as well as two water cranes, and that the other projects asked require time and asked for calm and patience, saying that he wants to help all the fishermen, and that he will always be in touch with their interests and problems.

On their account, the councilmen agreed to receive them on Tuesday during a session of the city council to vote if it is proper their claim for another water hydrant on the pier, an also to sit to discuss and reach an agreement about all the other demands from the fishermen’s group.

At 3:00 pm on Friday, Directors from the Fishermen’s association informed their members that they made an agreement with the municipal President and the City Council to reach a healthy agreement, and that they will be formally received on Tuesday at 11:00 am.

Francisco Eugenio Amaya Angulo, local Councilmen, informed that the fishing sector will always get the necessary help form the responsible authorities, and that these demands will be solved on November, Tuesday 13th, because he will dialogue with the shipbuilders to reach a peaceful agreement.

Written by Ivan Lopez

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