Mexico City Vendors Battle Police; 15 Hurt

From Associated Press

Hundreds of unauthorized street vendors near the presidential palace fought a pitched battle with riot police, and reports said 15 people were injured.

The confrontation took place Tuesday evening on a block of Venustiano Carranza Street where some 300 vendors sell trinkets, transistor radios and other goods in makeshift stalls. The street is in the city's central district of historical buildings.

A police department news release said the riot squad was deployed when the vendors, who were blocking pedestrian and vehicle traffic, refused to clear the street. The injured, none of whom were seriously injured, were given first aid.

For many months, shopkeepers have been complaining that the vendors, who pay no taxes and are not burdened with overhead costs, have been taking business away from them unfairly.

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