On April 3, five nurses began an indefinite hunger strike in Tuxtla Gutierrez to demand the unconditional reinstatement of 15 health workers dismissed over the protest they have been promoting, the payment of wages and legal benefits, as well as the supply of medicines and supplies to the hospitals and clinics of Chiapas. They occupied the entrance of the Rafael Pascacio Gamboa Hospital and announced at a press conference that, if there was no response from the authorities, a new health worker will join the hunger strike every 48 hours.
They explained that they came to this extreme decision faced with the indifference and repression of the authorities to solve the deficiencies in the hospitals of the state: “we received violence and threat”, and the proposal to “exchange reinstatement for silence”, adding that “sadly, so far six accepted, but the others reject and despise [the offer].”
They explained that for several months, they have demanded that the authorities do not “steal” their money anymore, because each month the quotas for the System of Retirement Savings (SAR in its Spanish acronym), Infonavit and other credit institutions are deducted from their salary, but the government has not paid these sums. Maria de Jesus Espinosa de los Santos, one of the strikers who has 30 years of service, explained in this way the money they are deducting “is not ending up where it should, such as SAR or Infonavit, and that is something which has hurt thousands of workers in this sector.”
At the beginning of the strike, activists from various organizations were present, including the Chiapas Women’s Union Front and the Chiapas Feminist Front.
For more information in Spanish:
Cinco enfermeras inician huelga de hambre en Chiapas; exigen la reinstalación de 14 compañeros (Proceso, 3 de abril de 2017)
Enfermeras inician huelga de hambre en Tuxtla Gutiérrez (La Jornada, 3 de abril de 2017)
Enfermeras inician huelga de hambre para exigir medicamentos en Chiapas (Regeneración. 3 de abril de 2017)
For more information from SIPAZ: