As the country celebrated the 4-1 victory over El Salvador that guaranteed Mexico a slot in next year’s World Cup competition, President Felipe Calderón ordered the military to secure the installations of Luz y Fuerza del Centro (LFC), the state owned electrical utility that serves Mexico City and surrounding states, and signed a decree liquidating the company. LFC operations were taken over without incident by CFE, the other government owned utility. In a televised speech, the President said, “Unfortunately, most of the resources that [LFC] got from the hands of the Mexican people didn’t go to improve service, but to pay onerous labor privileges and perks, which were getting worse year by year. … There weren’t any other options, since time and resources were running out.” The president emphasized that privatization was not in the cards, and that a new state-owned company would be created. While the takeover had been anticipated, the timing took most, including the SME electrical workers’ union, by surprise. SME leader Martín Esparza vowed to fight the liquidation “to the death” through legal actions and protest marches.
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