Mexico: Bike Ride Protest Clashes with Local Government
On April 28, 2012, a group of cyclists, among them a civic organisation named Bicitekas [es], organised a bike ride which would depart from the emblematic ‘Angel of Independence' in the heart of Mexico City, heading towards the so-called ‘Supervía Poniente‘ (Poniente Super-road) [es] in protest at the construction of the latter. At some point along the way, local police detained a group of six cyclists, according to Mónica Tapia A. [es] (@monicatapiaa):
The ‘Supervía Poniente' is a project led by the left-wing government of Marcelo Ebrard [es], leader of the Federal District Government. The road aim is to link the south of the city with the area of transnational corporations located to the west of the city in a district known as Santa Fé.
Santa Fé has witnessed a rapid growth in its floating population, and it is for this reason that it has become a real ordeal for those who work there to drive to work everyday due to high levels of traffic. The 'Supervía Poniente' aims to be a solution to this problem, but it has attracted criticism from activists who argue that the works will have a serious environmental impact. The bike ride which took place on Saturday, April 28, was just one of the protests against the construction of the road which have been carried out.
However, according to statements from witnesses which have been posted on Twitter, the police were seen clashing with cyclists. Jorge A. G. Matalí [es] (@elMatali) reported:
The organisation Bicitekas [es] (@Bicitekas) wrote:
According to Daniel Gershenson [es] (@alconsumidor), the police made threats:
Después de la melée (donde un policía incluso amenazó con “llamar a granaderos”), prosigue Rodada
#FleshandConcrete hacia L Cabrera [Avenida al sur de la ciudad de México]
Jordy M.Y. [es](@jordy_my) reported being taken to an office of the Public Ministry:
Después de un altercado que terminó en agresión de la policía de tránsito, estamos en la agencia 45 de Álvaro Obregón.
This fact angered some Twitter users, who question the coherence of a government which “promotes” the use of bicycles, as Juan Pueblo [es] (@ElcondeGiovanni) points out:
Congruencia y sentido común,se estimula uso de bicicleta en DF,pero no es correcto pedalear en vías rápidas y 2dos pisos
For Kar (@Karkarkarrr) the police actions are negative:
The capital's government has not yet made a statement on the issue, and its head of government Marcelo Ebrard [es] (@m_ebrard) seems unworried when he tweets:
Las quinceañeras 2012 en el Auditorio Nacional , son 347
These events will continue to provoke discussion, especially considering that the campaign for leadership of the capital's government was due to be launched just a few hours after the clash.
Written by Miguel Angel Guevara