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Locals Counterattack “Robbery” of the Tianguis by Guevara

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 31 March, 2011

(Acapulco, JG 31 March) The announcement that the Tianguis Turístico would be leaving Acapulco after 35 consecutive years has unified local and state officials, people in the tourist industry and legislators who, in a press conference yesterday, criticized the unilateral and sudden decision of the federal tourism secretary, Gloria Guevara Manzo. The many opponents of the decision are mobilizing to reverse that decision. The current state secretary of tourism, Ernesto Rodríguez Escalona, said that he would strive to the last second of his mandate (which ends today) to oppose the ruling, and thereafter, as a private citizen of Acapulco. He said, “Today, Acapulco needs us; Guerrero needs all of us. This is not merely a government issue because it deals with defending the honor and pride of everyone here.”

The state secretary also said that the “Tianguis” was born in Acapulco through efforts of Acapulqueños, and it has succeeded because so many people elsewhere in Mexico recognize what this port has accomplished for the whole country. He added that the people who supposedly had pressured the federal tourism secretary to hijack Acapulco’s annual tourist convention were the same people who for years had exploited the port and now turn their backs on it.

Mayor Añorve Baños added that the policy is directly contrary to President Calderón’s announced efforts to generate employment and combat poverty in Acapulco. He also said, “Gloria Guevara’s arguments are unsustainable. In the whole world there is no tourism fair of any consequence that is itinerant,” citing Fitur, Berlin and Montreal.

The mayor and governor-elect Ángel Aguirre, are being urged to marshal local and federal legislators and take the matter directly to President Calderón. In this they have the support of the chairman of the Tourism Committee of the federal congress, who said the decision by Guevara was “improvised,” and that it is not even referred to in the National Development Plan, The federal Sectorial Program on Tourism or in the 100 commitments in the recently solemnized “National Agreement on Tourism.” A member of that committee added that the secretary should be called to testify before Congress, to disclose the nature of the private sector money and interests that have been pressuring her to take such a decision.

Throughout Acapulco yesterday and today, members of the Mexican Confederation of Workers (CTM) demonstrated in several locations against the decision taken by Gloria Guevara, who was named “Acapulco’s Public Enemy Number One” by Rodolfo Escobar Ávila, a union leader in the city government.

Civic group “Grupo ACA” also showed its dismay at the decision, indicating that the presidential party, the PAN, will be remembered as the party that snatched this event away from Acapulco, and can thus forget any support in the 2012 elections.
Governor Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo, who leaves office today, added that there was not the minimum amount of courtesy in informing interested parties in advance that the decision was being considered. Moreover, it is not clear that the federal secretary of tourism even has the power to take such a measure, since the event was a local idea, executed locally, and carried out successfully for nearly two generations.