Losses in Tula

Three months after the worst flood in 40 years in Tula, the general director of Conagua, Germán Arturo Martínez, announced the implementation of a work plan to desilt the river and protect urban settlements.

The historic center of that municipality, governed by the PRD Manuel Hernández Badillo, is still devastated seven months after the overflow. More than 1,300 commercial premises are closed and their owners are still desperately seeking support from state and federal agencies to resume their productive activities, damaged even before, by the pandemic.

Previously, the actions of the federal government against the criminal gangs that steal hydrocarbons in that region had already negatively impacted the productive activities in that region of the Hidalgo entity, which have in the operations of the cement plant and the refinery, their main economic engines. .

The same day that the head of Conagua and the PRD mayor toured the banks of the Tula River, the secretary general of the state government, Simón Vargas Aguilar, received first-hand information about the conflict between the members of the Cruz Azul cooperative. The faction headed by Federico Sarabia and Pablo Reséndez maintained control of the cement company located in Tula.

The group led by Víctor Velázquez and José Antonio Marín had succeeded in getting the federal authorities to take legal action against Guillermo Álvarez Cuevas and the group led by Sarabia, whom they accused of cement theft, dispossession and money laundering. After the conflict over the plant located in Lagunas, Oaxaca, in October 2020, the repetition of a clash between cooperative members over the cement plant in Tula was the worst scenario for the Hidalgo authorities.

Since then, the Congress of Hidalgo —then with a Morenista majority, was headed by deputy Ricardo Baptista— urged the state and federal authorities to attend to the requests of the cooperative members, mediate in the conflict and preserve peace in the region.

Initially, the federal Executive had entrusted this task to Undersecretary Alejandro Encinas, although later the then head of the FIU, Santiago Nieto Castillo, intervened. After the arrival of Adán Augusto López Hernández at the Covián Palace, the cooperative members once again tried to assert their positions.

The headquarters of the Cruz Azul cooperative, in the Del Valle neighborhood, is insured by the judicial authorities. The four plants – the other two are in Aguascalientes and Puebla – maintained operations and sales… until yesterday, when they suspended activities in Tula after the failed irruption of supporters of Velázquez and Marín, which left a red balance.

The first clashes occurred at the CFE electrical substation in Jasso —the Hidalgo community where the cement company is located—, which was destroyed. The plant’s furnaces had never stopped working in four decades.

The secretary of the Government of Hidalgo never called the parties to dialogue. Two months ago, the group that keeps the Cruz Azul plant in Tula occupied proposed to hand over those facilities. In the Covián Palace, they had commissioned Undersecretary Rabindranath Salazar to monitor this conflict.

The only condition was that they not be expelled. Ten days ago, the majority group held a general assembly that unanimously decided to liquidate the 210 dissident members and definitively exclude Billy Álvarez from the cooperative.

In Gran Sur it was the assembly of the majority bloc. At the Tula plant —simultaneously— there was also an assembly and the minority decided to strengthen surveillance at the entrances to the cement plant. A decision that had effects: none of the eight deaths was theirs.

After yesterday’s clashes, Governor Omar Fayad instructed his Secretary of Government and the state attorney to “promote dialogue tables between the parties.” A late and hollow proposal.

To those affected by the floods and the workers of the refinery who have lost their source of employment, the workers of the Blue Cross and their families are added. The economic collapse of Tula and its conurbation will be irrevocable, if the polarization and politicization of these social conflicts prevail.

Alberto Aguirre


Vital signs

Journalist and columnist for El Economista, author of Doña Perpetua: Elba Esther Gordillo’s power and opulence. Elba Esther Gordillo against the SEP.

Leave a Comment