Mexican police seize utility company

Police erect a barrier outside the offices of Luz y Fuerza del Centro in Mexico City.
Hundreds of federal police officers seized control of a company that supplies power to four central states and the capital, Mexican state media reported Sunday.

The federal government cited high operation costs and losses, and labor liabilities, as reasons for the takeover. The utility had been ensnared in a labor dispute between federal officials and a union representing employees of the company, Luz y Fuerza del Centro. The official federal journal, El Primer Minuto Domingo, announced the takeover after 500 police officers seized the company’s facilities in Mexico City, and the states of Hidalgo, Mexico, Morelos and Puebla. Early this month, members of the Mexican Electricians Union demonstrated outside the president’s residence to demand recognition of their leader, according to the journal. On Monday, the government refused to recognize Martin Esparza, alleging a fraudulent election process, the journal reported. The union, one of the most powerful in the country, represents about 60,000 workers.