Dozens of Mexican Businesses Ransacked Following Gas Price Hike Protests
UPDATE (1/5): Mexican officials reported protests and looting erupted due to the recent spike of gas prices in the country.
Authorities said at least 14 people were detained Wednesday night after people ransacked more than 50 businesses, including convenience stores, supermarkets and outlet stores.
The state governments requested extra police officers after crowds of people carried off clothing as well as food. Looters also left with expensive appliances like washing machines, refrigerators and televisions.
They also said an officer fired his gun into the air to try and clear out the crowd. Officials said they were finally able to bring it to a halt Thursday morning.
People in Reynosa said they continue to wait more than an hour to pump gas after several PEMEX gas stations closed.
MCALLEN – The increase in gasoline price in Mexico is prompting residents to cross the border and fill up their tanks in the U.S.
People from Reynosa in Hidalgo County described a sudden spike in demand for gasoline after the Mexican government changed its price.
Gas is distributed in Mexico exclusively by PEMEX state gas stations.
The Associated Press said the price of gas rose as much as 20 percent around the country. The price hike is due to a new government plan in effect that removes subsidies on gasoline.
The current price of gas in the Rio Grande Valley is about the same amount as what it is in Reynosa. However, Mexican drivers said the long lines and gas stations closing down due to the price hike are making the situation worse.
“People panicked. There were long lines of people who wanted gas,” a Reynosa native said.
Several people we talked to in Hidalgo County said some city PEMEX gas stations were closed. They said they’re buying gas in the U.S. before heading back into Mexico.
“Here in the Valley, it takes me five minutes to pump gas. In Reynosa, it’s taking an hour or an hour and a half,” said a Mexican driver.
PEMEX tweeted last week they are going to try to increase the amount of fuel available to a 15-day supply to alleviate the problem.
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