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AMLO: Force will never be used on informal toll booths in Sonoran Yaqui communities

In his recent trip to Sonora, Mexico’s president proposed a novel solution to ending informal toll booths on a major highway.

For years, some residents of indigenous Yaqui communities along the state’s most important interstate have set up those checkpoints, asking for — and sometimes demanding — payment from passing motorists.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he has been regularly asked to use force to end the controversial practice, something he says his government “will not do.”

Instead, he suggested finding out how much money is generated and offering to provide a comparable sum for public works projects in the communities. He also proposed a similar arrangement to supplant the significant income brought to indigenous Comcaac communities by hunts on Tiburon Island.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.