Mish Shedlock Blog | Mexico Hikes Gas 20 Percent: Mass Protests Ensue, One Dead, 600 Arrested, in Widespread Looting | Talkmarkets
Investment Advisor Representative - Sitka Pacific Capital Management

Mike "Mish" Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market ... more

Mexico Hikes Gas 20 Percent: Mass Protests Ensue, One Dead, 600 Arrested, in Widespread Looting

Date: Thursday, January 5, 2017 8:50 PM EDT

Last weekend the Mexican government hiked gasoline prices 20%. Today, all hell broke loose.

In response to gas hikes, looting began: 1 Dead, 600 Arrested in Mexico Gas Protests.

Anger over gasoline prices hikes fueled more protests and looting Thursday, and Mexican officials said the unrest had resulted in the death of a policeman, the ransacking of 300 stores and arrests of over 600 people.

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.

Mexicans were enraged by the 20 percent fuel price hike announced over the weekend as part of a government deregulation of the energy sector. Protesters began blocking highways and gas stations and some people have broken into stores to carry off merchandise.

Authorities said one policeman was run over and killed and another was seriously injured when they tried to stop robberies at a gas station in Mexico City. Police in the capital said they had arrested 76 people for looting about 29 stores.

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).

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.

In the Gulf coast city of Veracruz, 50 establishments including convenience stores, supermarkets and big-box outlets suffered looting, according to a preliminary count by the local chamber of commerce.

Store guards were overrun by crowds who carried off clothing, food, washing machines, televisions, DVD players and refrigerators.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said Wednesday that he would try to help groups hit hard by the increases.

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