The farmers inspect all trucks carrying meat and produce into Mexico. All other traffic goes unchecked.
The blockade is seen as the first of a massive movement protesting NAFTA’s lifting of tariffs on all farm and meat products.
Mexico President Vicente Fox has warned the farmers that the NAFTA chapter on agriculture is a done deal, and “will not be renegotiated,” as demanded by many Mexican farm organizations.
Agriculture Secretary Javier Usabiaga had attended a meeting of farm organizations telling farmers that the poor state of Mexican agriculture was the result of many years of mismanagement and government corruption. The farmers heckled him out of the port of Veracruz’s World Trade Center facilities. The farmers gave the government a 20-day “truce” in order to respond to their demands to impose tariffs on some 40 products that may now cross duty free. Should the Administration not come up with a suitable answer, the farmer’s organizations will proceed to shut down all borders with as many as 25,000 farmers.