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Members of 2 Mexican Labor Unions Battle at Hotel; 1 Killed, 21 Injured

From Times Wire Services

One person died and at least 21 were injured after two rival labor groups clashed in a posh Mexico City hotel, sparking a gunfight that sent guests fleeing to their rooms and left the lobby’s walls riddled with bullet holes, authorities said Friday.

Police and Red Cross officials said six of the injured remained hospitalized following the shoot-out Thursday night at the five-star Hotel Presidente Chapultepec.

A Red Cross spokesman said that Jose Luis Ramirez, 29, died Friday of a crushed skull suffered during the brawl.

Hotel employees said that around 8 p.m., about 600 members of the powerful pro-government Mexican Workers Federation--armed with pistols, clubs and firebombs--stormed the lobby and began breaking doors and windows.

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Police said the attack was an attempt to coerce the hotel’s musicians, who are affiliated with the rival Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants, into signing a contract.

Earlier Thursday, the Workers Federation lost out to the Revolutionary Confederation in a bid to win the musicians’ contract, news reports said.

Police said at least 189 people were arrested.

The 37-story Hotel Presidente, which is located on picturesque Chapultepec Park, is popular with tourists.

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