Any highway in Oaxaca is fertile ground for a blockade, even one that’s not even officially open.
As state and federal authorities continue to express their optimism for a fully operational Puerto Escondido-Oaxaca highway by the summer, residents of San Sebastián Coatlán, located on the project’s route, have set up a blockade to demand a junction to link the highway to their town.
The newspaper El Imparcial reported that travelers driving on the unfinished road, despite warnings about the dangers it presents, found their way blocked around the 156 kilometer mark by the people of San Sebastián, located about 45 kilometers northeast of Puerto Escondido, as the crow flies.
The protesters claim that the construction firm in charge of the project and the state government have refused to build such a junction.
Residents, with the support of communal and municipal authorities, demanded negotiations with government officials who are able to offer a prompt and positive response, claiming that so far officials without decision-making capabilities have been sent, who only contribute to muddy the waters.
“We want the government and the construction company in charge of the project to comply with the commitments they signed before starting the highway,” they said.
The blockade, which impedes traffic to both unauthorized travelers and construction operations, has been declared indefinite.
On the weekend, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador once more asserted that the long-awaited road would be completed and fully operational “in July this year.”
Highway blockades are a common tool for communities in Oaxaca seeking to exert pressure on public officials to accede to their demands.
With reports by El Imparcial