Five vendors removed from the historic center
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
Five vendors who had worked for more than 30 years in the historic center were removed last month by the municipal government. Although the vendors appealed to a state judge and were given a document that allows them to keep working, the local administration did not honor the ruling because it does not state that they can work specifically in the historic center, only in “public places.”
The story of the five vendors has caused controversy for the local administration; they were removed from the historic center just two days after the new mayor took office. One of the vendors, Rosario Yépez, said that they were told it would only be for a few days and later they were moved to calle Cuna de Allende, but in the end they were not allowed to return to the historic center. Mayor Mauricio Trejo commented that the vendors were removed because they do not have a permit to operate in Centro. “We want to start a three-year administration marked by legality, and we want to regularize all that we have, and there are requirements that must be met in all sectors and areas. The intention is to have better adherence to the law, security and health, and we will help them to fulfill the requirements. We do not want to affect their business. We want them to choose a heavily trafficked, clean and safe place to operate,” said Trejo.
Mayor Trejo also said that he has already offered scholarships for the children of the affected vendors and has offered to relocate them and give them an economic incentive so they can start working again in a new location.
Vendors just want to work
Sara Hernández, one of the vendors, said that her business next to the Jardín has been operated by her mother for 30 years. “I grew up in el Jardín. Mayor Trejo asked us three weeks ago to relocate but has not given us new spaces. We have children to feed and rents to pay, and he is taking away our source of employment. We do not have anything now. We feel disappointed, angry and frustrated because we cannot do anything,” said Hernández. She also commented that Mayor Trejo offered her children scholarships. “I introduced him to my children, all of them with their different problems and illnesses. I really appreciate his offer of scholarships, but if my children do not maintain high marks they will lose the support, and for that reason I just want my space to keep working. We are not thieves, but sanmiguelense vendors who want to work.”
Doña Rosario Yépez, another vendor, said that they will not ask for help from other vendors’ associations, adding that “we are not troublesome people; we are just defending our rights to keep on working.”