Monday, December 15, 2014

AZMEX LOCAL 15-12-14


More border blockages threatened
Used-car import restrictions
Protesters block the border into San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., recently in protest over newly imposed used-car import restrictions.

Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2014 9:04 pm

Posted on Dec 14, 2014by Amy Crawford

SAN LUIS, Ariz. — Protesters warn they will resume blockades at the border as soon as Wednesday unless Mexico's government responds to their demands to ease recently imposed restrictions and higher taxes on importations of used cars into that country.

On Dec. 8, dozens of people employed by used-car lots and related businesses in San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., gathered in vehicle lanes leading from the United States into that city, causing a traffic backup in San Luis, Ariz. Cars were also prevented from crossing from Mexico to the Arizona border city.
The blockade, which lasted about five hours, was one of a series of blockades at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexican border to protest the new rules that have been put in place by Mexico's Ministry of Finance and Public Credit to curb illegal imports.

Following what they described as a fruitless meeting with Mexican customs officials in Mexicali, the day after the blockade, protesters said they are waiting until Tuesday for a response from Finance Minister Luis Videragaray, after which they are prepared to resume the blockades.
"They don't leave us any option other than to apply pressure in this manner and to take other measures, if they don't respond to us," said Francisco Martinez Antelo, who heads an association of public transit drivers in San Luis Rio Colorado who oppose the rules.

Opponents of the new regulations hope that by shutting down the border, they can pressure the government into acceding to their demands.
He said protesters are prepared to resume the blockade at San Luis as early as Wednesday, although a decision on when has not been made.

"We know that they're people for whom (the blockades) cause inconveniences," Martinez said. "We ask that they understand us and support us, because it's not just those of us who import vehicles who are affected by the government. The livelihoods of many families and the economy of the region also also affected, because there will be losses on the other side of the border if the importations are stopped."
The new regulations were announced in September and recently took effect, and protesters say they have hurt not only used car dealers in Mexican border cities, but mechanics, car upholsterers, air conditioning businesses and others employed in the used vehicle market.

"It used to be that 15 vehicles were imported in San Luis each day," said Martinez. "Now none are coming across."
Nearly 600 used cars were being brought across each day through ports in neighboring Baja California, said Alberto Guzman, a car dealer in San Luis Rio Colorado. With the new restrictions, he said, that number has dropped to fewer than 70.


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