After 50 years, the Independence Market went from 170 to 760 commercial premises, plus 180 semi-permanent ones
Photography/ Expresso Monitor
Morelia, Michoacán. – The Independence Market, located in the center of the City of Morelia, in the Ventura Puente neighborhood, has had, since its beginnings, some setbacks; From practically invading the accesses and having a significant number of street vendors that have decimated sales in the interior, to the burning of their parking lot, these are irregular situations that many residents have faced, whether they belong or not, to this network of commerce.
Mercado Independencia /Web
Governor Agustín Arriaga Rivera and Mayor Alfonso Martínez Serrano established the Mercado de la Independencia in 1966 to relieve some of the thousands of merchants who congregated in Plaza Valladolid.
Facebook/ Alfonso Martínez Alcázar
Consequently, little by little it was consolidated as one of the busiest areas of the city of Morelia. The Mercado Independencia was at its peak in the early ’90s, attracting more than 500 tenants selling a variety of items such as flowers, fruits, vegetables, and Mexican snacks, as well as herbalists and natural remedies.
Located in the southern area of the Historic Center, on the border with the Nueva España sector, is the Mercado de la Independencia. Its main entrance is located on Avenida Lázaro Cárdenas (to the south), which borders Andrés del Río (to the west), Ana María Gallaga (to the north) and Vicente Santa María (to the east). This has been classified as an intense and semi-permanent business that practically invades the entrances.
In addition to the fact that there are numerous street vendors in the interior and this causes the exhaustion of internal sales, it must be mentioned that these jobs are considered informal, since no taxes are paid and this makes them barely tolerated by the authorities themselves.
What the Independence Market has had to face
The independence market has been an example of self-improvement for many Morelians, since 57 years ago, when it was inaugurated, merchants have had to solve several problems to maintain their businesses, starting with its relocation from the old Valladolid Market, where by the way, they already had customers for years.
Since its founding, the market has not merited major repairs; in 2010 it was only waterproofed and painted, by 2015 the Morelia city council decided to place the parking lot and in 2021 it projected without results to fix the bathrooms and drainage of the same in response to the demand of the tenants.
In 2019, tenants had exposed that the pipes of the Independencia market were operating at 30 percent of their capacity, this causes other water infrastructure problems, a health impact that is still unaddressed.
Another situation to put at the center of the discussion is the vendors who are placed around the Market.
Street vending has had a significant impact on established merchants. Why? At least one street vendor operates in each enclosure, offering his products at prices below those of the market economy due to unequal conditions.
This means that many customers no longer even have to enter the market because they can easily find all the items at the street vendors on the esplanade.
In fact, speaking of street vendors and tenants in Michoacán, they have sometimes clashed with the authorities for economic reasons. To exemplify, we have the fact recorded in the Moreno administration of Raúl Morón Orozco in 2018, where specifically on August 16, 2018 an operation that was going to be carried out in the Independence Market of the Morelia Police for the removal of street merchants in the place, resulted in a pitched battle on Lázaro Cárdenas Avenue.
At 3:15 p.m., there was a confrontation between street vendors and personnel assigned to the Morelia Police, who went to the place to begin the removal of the street vendors.
After that, the merchants began to attack and a confrontation ensued with sticks, boxes, avocados and all the materials within reach.
Also in 2021, around 1,350 merchants have had to endure a year of road closures for two reasons. In the first place, for the ‘renovation of Lázaro Cárdenas and/or Benedicto López Avenue, in the section from Calzada Juárez to Vicente Santa María’ and the ‘renovation of sidewalks in Lázaro Cárdenas and/or Benedicto López Avenue, in the section from Calzada Juárez to Vicente Santa María’, in charge of the SUOP, in the period of the mayor’s administration Alfonso Martínez Alcantar. This is indicated by the Interactive Map of Municipal Public Works.
Not to mention, the 20 months of confinement due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the general economic difficulties; for example, the increase in the prices of basic items and the decrease in consumer spending on commodities as a result.
Martha Dalay Soto