Mexicans angry over a double-digit hike in gasoline prices looted stores and blockaded roads on Wednesday, prompting over 250 arrests amid escalating unrest over the rising cost of living in Latin America's second biggest economy.
Twenty-three stores were looted and 27 blockades put up in Mexico City, Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said, days after the government raised gasoline costs by 14 to 20%, outraging Mexicans already battling rising inflation and a weak currency.
Mexican retailers' association ANTAD urged federal and state authorities to intervene quickly, saying 79 stores had been ransacked and 170 forcibly closed due to blockades.
Deputy interior Minister Rene Juarez said over 250 people had been arrested for vandalism and that federal authorities were working with security officials in Mexico City and the nearby states of Mexico and Hidalgo to address the unrest.
"These acts are outside the law and have nothing to do with peaceful protest nor freedom of expression," Juarez said in a press conference late on Wednesday.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said earlier on Wednesday that the price spike that took effect on January 1 was a "responsible" measure that the government took in line with international oil prices.
The hike is part of a gradual, year-long price liberalization the Pena Nieto administration has promised to implement this year.
State oil company Pemex said on Tuesday that blockades of fuel storage terminals by protesters had led to a "critical situation" in at least three Mexican states.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Bidens visit eastern Kentucky to review flood damage
Mexico to use underwater drone in search for trapped miners
Help from Mexico, Venezuela arrives as Cuba battles deadly depot blaze
Colombia’s first leftist president is sworn in
US police say killings of four Muslim men may be linked
Fire at Cuba fuel depot leaves more than 60 injured
US Senate Democrats get green light for $430bn climate, healthcare bill
Regulator accuses Tesla of false advertising
Conspiracy theorist Jones ordered to pay $45mn