When Guadalupe Gómez, president of the Federation of Zacatecan Clubs in California, thinks about the programs for migrants canceled in Mexico, he also goes back to his childhood in Jalpa, when he was a “pitayero” and his father sent him to sell the fruits and they were no longer sold. He was ashamed and uneasy.
“More because of the girls’ comments than anything else,” he recalls.
But behind those feelings as a young man there was something deeper and still in force: the poverty that pushed thousands of Zacatecans to emigrate to the United States, an exodus that today represents half the state abroad that joins other millions of Mexicans in the American Union.
Over time, the diaspora organized into clubs and federations of natives to send collective money and from the year 2000 the federal government intervened together with state and municipal authorities to multiply each dollar converted into pesos. He did it through a program called 3 × 1 with which he did public works and grants were given and even businesses were pushed.
The current president Andrés Manuel López Obrador canceled it as soon as he came to power. He did not say it publicly, he simply erased it from the budget and sent his subordinates to explain to the migrants that it had been because embezzlement was detected and to date he has not changed his position.
Even with this determination, organized migrants in the US do not give up. On July 8, when López Obrador was laying a wreath at the Abraham Lincoln monument in Washington, Guadalupe Gómez handed him a letter on behalf of the federation he represents.
Words more, words less, this is a proposal to not let the money that Mexicans collect abroad die and take advantage of it beyond remittances. Right now they have in their hands, ready to support their communities, 50 million pesos (about $ 250,000 dollars) and they believe that they can be used in two ways.