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Protesters Halt Traffic on International Bridge

November 19, 1986

LAREDO, Texas (AP) _ About 100 demonstrators halted traffic at a bridge between Mexico and the United States on Tuesday in a protest over high Mexican utility rates, authorities said.

The group, calling itself the Committee for the Defense of Workers, blocked one of two bridges between Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, for four hours.

Laredo police had been stationed on the U.S. side to monitor the demonstrators.

A police dispatcher, who refused to give her name, said the protest had ended without incident.

Jose Bruno Perez, a spokesman for the protesters, said they were coming to the defense of workers who have had to live with inflation and escalating gas and electric bills.

Traffic was rerouted to another bridge after the protesters began snarling traffic about noon.

The demonstrators said they would not leave until federal officials talked to them about the higher utility rates.

They ended their protest after Luis Balmore, director of the federal highway police, talked to the group and said they could be jailed if they did not leave.