MEXICO - Our neighbor country started the year with a 20-percent increase on gas prices.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto ordered the increased with an argument that gas prices have gone up internationally and that it was his way of keeping some public health services, education and other public programs for low-income families.
The cost of a liter of gas went up to 15.99 pesos, and 17.05 pesos for supreme gas. The value of the peso versus the dollar is 21.34 for a 1 dollar, the gallon is about 3.78 liters, meaning the rates in dollars are $2.85 and $3.02.
It might not see as such a big increase for us living in the U.S. but keep in mind that the minimum wage in Mexico is about $5 a day. Now, that makes a difference.
That’s why Mexican nationals don’t agree with Peña Nieto nor their state and local governments and some have organized groups that started protesting all across Mexico.
The protests have been heating up and in many places, they’ve turned violent.
Nogales, Sonora – People gathered to block the train transporting goods to the United States.
On Sunday, Nogales was referred to as a “war zone” on social media. It was said that police drove around shooting non-lethal bullets, but some said that they found the bullet shells. Neither version of events has been confirmed.
Agua Prieta, Sonora – Omar Noriega, Director of the local newspaper El Clarin, mentioned that the protests in that border city started on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Noriega said the protesters are emphasizing boycotting federal and state governments. They blocked the entrance to a federal building where people renew their tags, licenses, pay taxes and making other transactions that would give money to the government.
On Saturday, people going to Mexico from the U.S. were able to go in without having to declare or pay taxes for anything that they brought into Mexico.
Hermosillo, Sonora – The first week of the year, many people are traveling back to the U.S. after the holidays.
The protesters, took over the “caseta” (booth) north of Hermosillo, not charging the 71 pesos that each car pays at that station. That was another way the protesters kept money from reaching government hands.
The streets were also taken by the non-violent protests in the capital city.
Rosarito, Baja California – Not every protest was non-violent. A video showed how a pickup truck ran over police men as they were blocking off an area at the protest.
Tijuana, Baja California - People responded and gather to protest at the border.
PeMex recently opened up a gas station in Houston and their prices are very competitive, about a dollar less per gallon than what Mexicans pay.
People in Mexico are sick and tired of the corruption, of the government taking advantage of their resources and their people. They decided to get up and fight for their rights.
(© 2017 KPNX)