Mexicans are outraged over a big hike in gas prices
EXCERPT: THE WASHINGTON POST
MEXICO CITY — Mexican motorists awoke to a shock as gasoline prices at the pump shot up by more than 20 percent in some corners of the country on the first day of the year, sparking panic buying, street protests and even a call by one prominent lawmaker for a “peaceful revolution.”
“If the price of gasoline goes up, we’re going to pay more [for] everything else,” said Iván Rosales, an employee at a trucking company who protested the price hike Sunday at the iconic Ángel de la Independencia monument in Mexico City.
“I don’t mind paying [gasoline] taxes, but where are the services?” Rosales said, pointing to potholes on the street. “[Politicians] always prefer pocketing the money instead of spending it as they should.”
The hike, the result of the government’s decision to deregulate gas prices, comes as Mexico prepares for an uncertain 2017. The value of the peso has plunged, inflation is rising and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has promised to rip up NAFTA and slap import duties on Mexican-made goods. Regular gas is scheduled to sell for 15.99 pesos per liter in Mexico City (about $2.85 per gallon), though prices will vary across the country.
Even as Mexicans have endured a decade-long drug war, crime, corruption and Trump’s denigrating comments, few issues stir more indignation in the country than “gasolinazos,” as Mexicans call hikes in the government-set gasoline price.