July 1, 2013
The Durango-Mazatlan Highway is one of Mexico’s greatest engineering feats, 115 bridges and 61 tunnels designed to bring people, cargo and legitimate commerce safely through a mountain range known until now for marijuana, opium poppies and an accident-prone road called the Devil’s Backbone.
Even those protesting the project say the 230-kilometer-long (140-mile) highway, expected to be completed in August, will change northern Mexico dramatically for the good. It will link port cities on the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific by a mere 12-hour drive, and Mazatlan with San Antonio, Texas, in about the same time. The highway will eventually move 5 million vehicles a year, more than four times the number on the old road, plus more produce and goods from Asia to the Mexican interior and southern U.S.
April 11, 2013
By Carlos Puig, The New York Times, 4/11/13
When the federal policeman approached the strikers, they started to sing the national anthem. “I am Mexican,” the policeman told them. “You are Mexican. But there are thousands of Mexicans behind me who just want to get on their way. So I am asking you to free at least one lane — just one lane.”
It was 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 5, and the middle of the highway that goes from Mexico City to sunny Acapulco, in the state of Guerrero. For two hours a group of some 2,000 teachers from Guerrero had been blocking traffic both ways. Two weeks earlier, at the beginning of the most important vacation of the year, the teachers staged a protest on the same highway for more than nine hours, creating chaos for travelers.