Monday, January 23, 2017

March in Mexico City: Mexicans protested over gasoline price hikes



Mexicans once again protested over gasoline price hikes in the so-called "gasolinazo." The march in Mexico City was joined by other rallies in at least 12 states. Thousands participated, according to Mexican media reports. Since January 1, when the government hiked gasoline prices by 14 to 20 percent, protests have broken out throughout the country. Thousands held posters against the increase in prices and chanted for Pena Nieto to leave office. Since the beginning of the month, demonstrators across the country have blocked roads and gas stations, and looting of shops has led to hundreds of arrests.

Looting and violent protests followed the gasoline hike around the country. Two people died in Ixmiquilpan in clashes with state and federal police after protesters blockaded a highway and burnt vehicles. Sunday's protest was peaceful, but the protesters were resolute.
"The intention is to have this (hike) thrown out, that it be overturned, or that they really stop this because we are going to see, in February, two gas hikes. They're already can't be sustained, even though they say they can be. When we see the salaries of representatives, senators, of the government, all that in comparison of what we earn as government workers, it's not enough for us," said protester, Rogelio Sanabria.

"I am here because I am in disagreement with all the policies of the government of Enrique Pena Nieto and what his whole cabinet has imposed on this country, which has caused a lack of equality, inflation. They continue to rob, continue taking from the country," said protester Laura Islas. Many Mexicans have expressed concern that the hike in fuel will cause subsequent increases in the price of food, public transport and all good requiring transportation. With Mexicans already facing a slumping currency, rising inflation and economic threats from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, the issue has caused widespread outrage. The rise in gasoline prices is part of a liberalization program aimed at gradually bringing prices up to market level.

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