Sandra Rodríguez Nieto reports in Diario today (click here) the Red Cross has laid off 10 of the 40 paramedics they have on call for medical emergencies throughout the city, which is facing the highest homicide rate for any city in the world. Reasons given are financial. But there appear to be administrative problems in the organization and there is some evidence of deteriorating relations between the Red Cross and the municipal government.
Last week several employees were informed they were laid off for lack of funds, while others were told they were laid off because they lacked the necessary training. And for several weeks the Red Cross has not paid employees the $1000 peso bonus the municipal government has set aside for them as an incentive, as part of an agreement between the two institutions. The city government's Department of Rescue and the Red Cross employees use the same ambulances, based on an agreement reached in July 2008 in which the city agreed to pay for the fuel and the salaries of the paramedics on the Rescue team.
In addition to the 40 (now 30) paramedics working for the Red Cross, 60 municipal paramedics are on call with the Rescue Department.