In 2015, when a number of maquiladora workers in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico took a stand for better working conditions, one of the companies impacted was CommScope, a manufacturer of telecommunications infrastructure. Based in North Carolina, the company employed 3,000 workers in its Ciudad Juárez factory.
Just across the US-Mexico border from El Paso, Texas in the Mexican state of Chihuahua lies Ciudad Juárez, where the wages of workers in the maquiladoras, export-oriented factories run by foreign businesses, are significantly lower than in other parts of the country. Among the many maquiladoras in the city is a 2,800-worker printer-cartridge plant owned by Lexmark, a multinational company based in Lexington, Kentucky.
On 1 January 2008, Mexico repealed all tariffs on corn, beans, milk, and sugar imported from north of the border as part of a 14-year phase out provision agreed to under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mexican farmers quickly mobilized to voice their opposition, and tried to pressure the government to renegotiate the agricultural provisions of NAFTA, a free trade agreement passed in 1994 that removed most trade barriers between Mexico, Canada, and the United States.
In 2004, Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz became Governor of Oaxaca in a contentious election, rumored to involve fraud. Many civilians and activists were angered over his win and led protest campaigns against him, resulting in the detention, incarceration, and disappearance of hundreds of social leaders throughout Oaxaca. State forces silenced those who attempted to demonstrate even though the Oaxacan constitution permits protest.
On June 26th, 1958, workers from the Sindicato de Trabajadores Ferrocarrileros de la República Mexicana (STFRM, Union of Railroad Workers of the Mexican Republic) initiated a series of escalating strikes led by Demetrio Vallejo. Vallejo had formed a General Action Committee after participating in a Union wage-price study committee that had determined a proper increase in wages of 350 pesos ($28) per month based on the decrease in real wages due to inflation.