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Even before the plan was announced, business owners had begun prote

March 10, 1995

Even before the plan was announced, business owners had begun protesting expected tax increases. Some 400 business leaders held a peaceful protest Wednesday in the northern industrial city of Monterrey.

Ordinary Mexicans said they feared life would soon become even more difficult. Prices on everything from telephone service and transportation to basic foodstuffs have risen since December, while paychecks have lagged.

``We can’t afford any more increases,″ said Juan Carlos Aguilar, who runs a photo shop in Mexico City. ``Business has fallen 80 percent in the last several months and everything costs more, including film.″

Market vendors said business had fallen off by half because food prices have soared.

``Life is hard for all of us right now,″ said Jesus Murrillo, a rancher in his 60s, as he slurped a bowl of chicken soup at a nearby market. ``We don’t know where this is going.″

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