Mexico’s state-owned electric company leaves over half-million people without electricity for non-payment during pandemic

During phase 3 of the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Electricity Commission ( CFE ), Mexico’s state-owned power company, cut services to 543,128 users in the past 30-days due to non-payment.

Homes and establishments in Mexico City were the most affected by the power supply cut, the State of Mexico being the state with the most cuts.

According to information from the company delivered through the National Transparency Platform, Jalisco, Mexico City, Michoacán, Puebla, and Guerrero also suffered power cuts in the last days of social isolation.

Manuel Bartlett, director of the CFE, had already warned that there would be no deferrals for the bills of Mexican households, since there were also expenses to cover, such as the payment of 90 thousand workers and the purchase of fuel and maintenance so that the electrical network continues to provide the service.

The State of Mexico tops the list with 38,694 cuts, followed by Mexico City and Jalisco with 33,358. The lowest number of suspensions was obtained by Aguascalientes with 2,521.

Users have reported a considerable increase in the total to be paid on their electricity bills, since the coronavirus sparked stay at home orders and a million people were out of work, resulting in more people being home, causing greater consumption by the use of TVs or devices, customers argue that their activities are the same at home.

An example of this is that of Sergio López and his father who, in a consultation carried out by El Informador, stated that they have paid less than 400 pesos for the electric energy service at home for two years; for this reason, they were surprised that the last bill was 1,500, as they mention, their lifestyle has not changed with confinement and they continue to carry out the same activities.

This has caused protests in various parts of the country to suspend power cuts due to non-payment during the contingency due to the health crisis.

One of these entities is Michoacán, where the inhabitants of Lázaro Cárdenas carried out a peaceful protest, standing in front of the CFE facilities and requesting that the electric power service not be cut off for those whose state of vulnerability has worsened due to the crisis.

Mexico does not have an unemployment insurance system, so when the government ordered the closure of millions of businesses, they were left without income. The same government that ordered people to leave their jobs, now asks those unemployed individuals to pay the state-owned electric company.

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