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Mexico City Will Pay Vendors to Get Them Off Subway

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March 4, 2014

They are called Vagoneros - informal vendors who travel along on Mexico City's metro selling pirate CDs, chewing gum, stress toys, you name it. Here, Juan sells CDs on the subterranean transportation system.

Mexico City, Mexico - The Government of the Federal District will pay $2018.40 pesos [$152.00 USD] per month to "vagoneros" - informal vendors who ply their wares in public places - so that they stop carrying out their activities on the Mexico City subway.

The head of the Secretariat of Government of the capital, Héctor Serrano Cortés, recently announced the Program for the Integration into the Formal Economy of Merchants. He explained in detail that in February those entering the program will begin to receive monthly financial support that corresponds to the current minimum salary in Mexico City - about $5 USD per day.

The payments will be for up to 2500 individuals for a period of six months. If all of the vagoneros collect the funds, they would distribute up to $30,280,500 pesos, or $2,275,771 USD. He emphasized that the funds will come from revenue from transportation.

Serrano added that he will continue with efforts to inhibit this avocation - part of the "informal economy" of which sixty percent of Mexican workers are involved and the federal government is trying to reduce. The vagoneros that fulfill the requirements will also be added to other support programs that the local government offers.

At the February press conference held in the offices of the capital government, the head of the Secretariat of Economic Development, Salomón Chertorivski, explained that nine million pesos [$676,000 US) will be earmarked for the training of informal vendors that join the program. He indicated that training will be provided for such jobs as car mechanics, computer studies, accounting assistant, plumbing, and carpentry.

He added that after negotiations with a multitude of vagoneros, they committed to definitively abandoning their work for cash in the informal economy in order to be accepted into the program and incorporated into the formal work force.

The general director of Metro Public Transport System, Joel Ortega Cuevas, said that soon they will add 500 more members from the "Banking and Industrial Police Force" to eradicate the informal selling of vendibles on the subway. He added that since the end of last year they have sent 3,210 vagoneros to civil court.

Translated and edited by Reed Brundage - Mexico Voices