Looting, protests in Mexico over gas price hikes turn deadly

January 7, 2017 | By | Reply More

The death toll in protests and looting fueled by anger over gasoline price hikes in Mexico rose to six Friday when authorities confirmed that two men died in a confrontation between protesters and police in the central state of Hidalgo.

gas price hikesThere were four previous deaths in looting-related incidents and over the course of the week, at least 300 stores were looted and more 1,000 people were detained, officials said.

The protesters in Hidalgo were blocking a highway on Thursday and confronted police who were trying to keep order, when gunfire broke out.

In the northern city of Monterrey, officials said a crowd of protesters had smashed some of the stained glass windows of the Nuevo Leon state capital building.

The country’s business chambers said the combination of highway, port and terminal blockades and looting this week forced many stores and businesses to close and threatened supplies of basic goods and fuel. The scenes of mass lootings came as parents were trying to buy presents for the Jan. 6 Three Kings Day holiday.

The looting and protests quieted somewhat Friday, but protesters continued to post themselves at highway toll booths with banners.

“I know that allowing gasoline to rise to its international price is a difficult change, but as president, my job is to precisely make difficult decisions now, in order to avoid worse consequences in the future,” Pena Nieto said in a televised address. “Keeping gas prices artificially low would mean taking money away from the poorest Mexicans, and giving it to those who have the most.”

The state government said the looting had quieted Thursday. But video of the Wednesday disturbances showed riot-like scenes of people streaming out of stores carrying flat-screen TVs and other items.

With blockades affecting everything from gas distribution terminals, seaports and highways to shopping centers and gas stations, the Communications and Transport Department announced it would cancel permits for any truckers who block roads.

The change boosted the average price for a liter of premium gasoline to 17.79 pesos (about 90 cents). That makes 4 liters, or about a gallon, equal to nearly as much as Mexico’s just raised minimum wage for a day’s work — 80 pesos (about $4).

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

Tags: , , , ,

Category: International

Leave a Reply