Looting, Riots In Mexico Spiral Out Of Control Over 20% Gas Hike; Hundreds Arrested

Tyler Durden's picture

Four days after the first sporadic protests emerged in Mexico City, following the infamous "gasolinazo", or mandatory 15%-20% increase in Mexican gas prices which went into effect on January 1, the mood across the country has significantly deteriorated, with hundreds of demonstrators blocking highways, snarling traffic, raiding gas stations, jeopardizing critical supplies, and looting stores as angry but impotent motorists lashed out at the price surge, which is only going to get worse as inflation spikes even more following the record plunge in the Mexican Peso.

Residents steal fuel and diesel from a gas station in Veracruz state

As a reminder, the price of oil rose Sunday by as high as 20.1% to 88 cents per liter, with diesel at 83 cents — the equivalent of 12 days of a minimum wage to fill a tank of gas - compared to the U.S.’s seven hours — and the price ceiling will be adjusted daily starting Feb. 18, before letting supply and demand determine them in March.

The unrest has caused some gas stations to close altogether. Antonio Caballero, who heads a network of 800 gas stations, said at a press conference this week he will temporarily close any filling station threatened by violent protesters. According to unconfirmed reports, even the local drug cartels warned ahead of the price hike they would burn down gas stations should the price increase come into effect.

However, as tends to happen during mass civil disturbances, it’s not just gas stations that are being targeted. Some protesters have used the gasolinazo as an excuse to loot supermarkets and other stores in several states.

A man runs with toys as a store is ransacked by a crowd in the port of Veracruz,
Mexico after gas price hikes rage out of control

As of Thursday morning, 250 stores had been looted and 170 were closed or blockaded in all of Mexico, according to the National Association of Self-Service and Department Stores.

At least 430 protesters were detained on charges of vandalism, including four police officers according to El Universal.

Protesters block the entrance to a Pemex gas station as they burn tires during a
protest against the rising prices of gasoline

The unrest 'resulting in the theft of merchandise put at risk the lives of clients and workers in the stores, primarily in Mexico State, Michoacan, Hidalgo and Mexico City,' the statement said.

Suspects are detained by navy police after a store was ransacked by a crowd in
the port of Veracruz during gasoline price protests

In the Gulf coast city of Veracruz, store guards were overrun Wednesday
by crowds who carried off clothing, food, washing machines, televisions,
DVD players and refrigerators; 50 establishments including convenience stores, supermarkets and big-box outlets suffered looting, according to a preliminary count by the local chamber of commerce.

A group of people grabs toys as a store is ransacked by a crowd in the port of
Veracruz, Mexico after frustrations over a sharp gas price hike erupt into violence

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

Extra police patrols were deployed, and at least 14 people were detained, the state government reported. At one supermarket officers fired into the air to disperse the multitudes.

According to Fusion, adding to the chaos on the streets is a wave of unconfirmed news and threats on social media perpetuating rumors about a curfew on Wednesday, pushing some businesses to temporarily close two days before Mexico’s Día de Reyes, a religious holiday that normally has parents flocking to stores to buy toys for their kids.

People form a human chain to block access to a gas station in Mexico City

The state-owned oil company Pemex said Tuesday that blockades of fuel terminals in the states of Chihuahua, Morelos and Durango had caused a "critical situation" in distributing fuel to gas stations there. It said that if the blockades continued, it could interrupt operations at airports in Chihuahua and Baja California.

Mexicans’ collective anger over the situation is being directed mostly at President Enrique Peña Nieto, who in 2015 had promised that country’s frequent pump price hikes would end with his much-touted finance and energy reform plans. However, as a result of the plunge in oil prices , the long-awaited liberalization of the country’s energy sector which would have led to lower prices, the promised relief at the pump has yet to materialize.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, president Nieto called the gas price hike “painful” yet “inevitable.” 

“I call society to listen to the reasons for taking this decision, which, without having been made, I must say, would have led to more painful effects and consequences,” he said Wednesday after several days of notable silence. He added that he understands the anger of Mexicans and did not want to make the “painful, difficult and inevitable” move, but had to.

He told Mexicans Wednesday to accept the dramatic hike in gas prices as a necessary move, to the anger of “gasolinazo” protesters, who reiterated their call to take down the country’s most unpopular president on record.

Demonstrators stormed several government buildings on Wednesday, demanding the resignation of Nieto and sympathetic state governors who have promoted the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s neoliberal reforms that have included privatizing the national oil company Pemex. Pena Nieto had promised to lower gas prices in his campaign, but they have kept rising since he took office.

A series of actions, including boycotts, petition signing, meetings, assemblies and civil disobedience are planned for the week, as the prologue to a national march next week. As of earlier this week, tens of thousands have already participated in roadblocks and seized, looted and vandalized gas stations, prompting 400 stations to close and affecting the operations of airports and bus stations.

The tweet below lays out a "map of peaceful protests against gasolinazo. We have the right to protest."

Meanwhile, the blowback against the unpopular price hike is spreading to the political class. Pemex has requested that state governors help open access to stations to continue business, but several governors have already come out against the hike. The governor of Chihuahua, Javier Corral, said he would not deploy forces to quell the protest, which he supports, and Aristoteles Sandoval of Jalisco, who is a member of the PRI, said Mexicans have a right to be angry. Veracruz Governor Miguel Angel Yunes said he expects the rise to mostly affect the poor and threaten political stability, lamenting that Peña Nieto did not consult governors before implementing the measure.

Taxes represent 44 percent of the price of gasoline, tweeted Guadalajara Mayor Enrique Alfaro, adding to a trending hashtag, #ReversaAlGasolinazo, to reverse the measure by lowering taxes.

Several media and politicians, including Peña Nieto, have denounced the protests as violent, which organizers insist is a mischaracterization of the peaceful actions, which aim to redistribute oil for free or at significantly reduced prices. Many extrapolated their opposition as opposition also to violence, corruption and impunity in the country, with which they hope to create a wider front against Peña Nieto's administration and business-as-usual in traditionally authoritarian Mexican politics.

"The history of our country is stained with big and deep social problems without resolution," wrote feminist group MujerEs YA!, "where violence and impunity have marked the path of daily life, until the point of voracious alienation that plays between indifference and immobility, which uses whatever measure to convince the public of its uselessness, of its drowned inert voice, accustomed to the toxic, a population that merits little, because it demands little, because it naturalizes its own death."

But the worst is yet to come. According to increasingly more analysts, who initially were silent on the topic, the price increase will raise the price of basic goods, provoke unemployment, inflation, economic stagnation and potentially economic contraction and even recession.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
nuubee's picture

Got the diesel all filled up before the election, can't be too careful.

D Nyle's picture

Build the wall, Deport the 30 plus million illegals (official figure is bullshit), make tv show called Escape from Mexico,  Wall paid for.

localsavage's picture

If you go by the Californian governments logic, Mexico should welcome all of its citizens back as they are such an economic benefit.

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) localsavage Jan 5, 2017 5:50 PM

The future of the U.S. is in those pictures. Already here in Detroit.

Build the wall.

Cut government ninety, plus, percent, to its Constitutional level.

People will be allowed to prosper without having the "right" government connections.

Muddy1's picture

Yeah I was wondering if this might be our future here in the US of A.  I noticed in the last 10 days my gas station has raised the price from 1.99 to 2.09 and now 2.26, about 14 percent total increase. 

As for the pictures of looters, those are Black Friday shoppers in the US of A, probably Los Angeles.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Muddy1 Jan 5, 2017 6:49 PM

I see happy motorists... everywhere!

Food Loaf Junkie's picture

Michigan just raised the state gas tax 6 cents on gas and 14 cents on diesel, but the money won't be used for road repair until 2020!!!!!  By that time they will be able syphon it off and no one will notice.  The public's attention span is so short it is disgusting.

Parrotile's picture

If the US continues to "poke the Bear" you might find what REAL "Russian Hackers" can do (and do invisibly, zero trail left to trace back). There are more than  enough  barn-door sized "backdoors" in your IT systems to allow a spot of "creativity" - along the lines of "wouldn't it be a shame should the EBT / Medicare / Road or Train signalling systems fail for an extended period".


If the "Russian Hackers" were smart (and you bet they ARE Smart), it would be particularly amusing should they lay a convoluted (but fake) "trail" leading all the way back to Langley . . . . . .

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

The cartel(s) owns massive interest in Mexican oil and gas companies.  That was part of the reason for 'Fast and the Furious' gun running, or so I heard, to instigate infighting among the cartels, so Sinaloa could renegotiate the plans for a Mexican pipeline (from a position of strength)...

Plus they steal from the pipelines...  I am pretty sure they (cartels) were the ones who decided to increase the price...

Remember how Carlos Slim went from having $6 b wealth to about $60 b in just over a decade?  Hmmm...  But i am sure he doesn't have any three letter agencies across the border as his 'business partners'...

SummerSausage's picture

Carlos Slim has the US government contract for Obamaphones - which, you remember was extended to cover the illegals pouring into the US.  That had to be good for $1 billion/year

Offthebeach's picture

I hung a new, curved Samsung 60" thinscreen for a Mexican lady.  $2,000 unit, made in Mexico.  She said the same TV is $4,000 all day in Mexico.  I asked how,  She says no competition.  Mafi controls EVERYthing.  $2,000 is for protection.  You pay or else.  If you do, mafi sees that you are the one and only and you have no competition.   They'll just kill the other guy, burn his store.  But, unless the other guy offers more, in which case you better up your prices.


So the average Mexican is fuked by his government, the drug cartels, and every business and their "partners"

Twee Surgeon's picture

I can not see any reason why the USA and Mexico do not already have an Equitable solution (and Canada.)

It is fine and dandy for a Mexican citizen to jump the border and buy a house, get a job, open a business, pick up an EBT card but I (US citizen) can not move down to a desolate beach south of Acapulco, buy a shitty shack on two acres next to the beach and rent out camping spots and jet skiis, take some tourists fishing and have a real ownership / investment for my efforts and agree to abide by the reasonable laws of the land AND Pay Taxes. But all that is too complicated for the geniuses that gravitate towards the Trough of Politics and Government.

A Village, a Town, a City, a City State or a Nation or Empire, just bigger versions of the same old stuff, many agreeable alliances have prospered throughout history.

No nation would have to lose it's Identity or borders or constitution, No corporate ownership of vast swaths of land, just individuals living under Common Law.

The true path to a Global situation with no Jackboots or Clipboard Permit Nazi's required for the most part. Free up the dope so the Junkies can kick themselves out of the gene pool in just a few years, Bottles of Laudanum on the counter at every seven-eleven on the glass case over the Pistols that everyone is packing, cheap food, booze and bunks on international shipping Freighters so anyone can move, voluntary Cops and Firemen on a rotation. Pro Paremidics and Doc's and Engineers ( The Aristocrats. )

It's not any more complicated than the present clusterfuck, Islam would have to get isolated to sand land and other complexities but really, pick a life.

 Common Law and Equality in it = As good as it will ever get on this rock. See you at my stunt kite shop / Brewery, in Caracas.

HRH Feant's picture
HRH Feant (not verified) Twee Surgeon Jan 5, 2017 8:26 PM

You are correct. Try landing in Mexico without a passport and thinking you can start a business on the coastline, let alone buy property! HAHAHAHAHA! Good fucking luck with that as foreigners are prohibited from buying property on the coast line!

I am sick of the US being played by everyone, around the world. Waaaaaah! Take care of us. Nope. Try showing up in another country with a US passport and see how far you get asking for welfare or a handout. Not very fucking far.

Twee Surgeon's picture

Exactly my point , The USA policy to any Nation should reflect and be equal, if North Korea, (As an Example. ) Wishes to remain in the dark ages, let them, what have we lost, a few Kimshee recipes ? If they throw a bomb, throw 10 bombs back.

All i ask for is this weird idea about a thing I have decided to call Equality,  It will be equal and anyone can subscribe or not subscribe.

No one will be given Special Consideration based on Skin Tone, DNA or any other magical device. White Men will be Equal to Women and have the same rights in a court of law, Pendulums swing, let's make sure the Pendulum does not swing into the trenches of 1917 because it might. Let us watch some criminals do a Perp walk and know that the laws of lands still be good.



WayPastCaring's picture

I'd buy that for a dollar!

Freddie's picture

Robbing and looting Mexicans acting like Trayvons.   How suprising.

abyssinian's picture

Venezuela part II


Only this time, they can run across the border and loot the liberal State of California..... 

runswithscissors's picture

FUCKIN' HELL YEAH! Burn the fucking SHITHOLE Mexico to the ground! Hang the FUCKING CORRUPT El Presidente

j0nx's picture

Wait until their moneygram and all other wire transfers from the states start getting taxed at 50%. Day one should be any money sent to Mexico and Central America is subject to 50% tax and proof of citizenship to send.

NoDebt's picture

Border wall!  STAT!

Jezuz Christ, build that fucking wall and fast please, Mr. Trump.

Day 1, Executive Order 1:  National Guard activation to the southern border.  Once they've secured the area roll the cement and steel trucks on location.  28 days the cement is cured, mount the turret machine guns on top, lay out the land mine welcome mats.  

This is no longer just an immigration issues.  This is fucking World War Z unfolding in front of our eyes.



truthseeker69's picture

With what money asshat?



jwoop66's picture

They are all such hard workers, let them pay for it.

Amaroosta's picture

Mexico has a credit line..

defender1be's picture

The weekly cost of EBT is probebly higher then the cost of the wall. The money wasted every day on leftist socialist bullshit is probebly higer then the total cost of the wall. so fuck off you stupid libtard.

Offthebeach's picture

If there wasn't a welfare industry, where/what would lefties do for work?  Roof your house?  Put new tie rods on your Audi?    99% don't know any productive work.  

nightshiftsucks's picture

Lets do a public fundraiser,put me down for $1k.

SummerSausage's picture

They sent $2 billion from the US to Mexico last month.  The wall will cost about $10 billion.  If  their remittances were taxed at 50% the wall would be paid for in 1 year.

If the drug money is stopped on its way from the US to Mexico the wall would be paid for in 3 weeks.  Asshat.

Cman5000's picture

I also want Christmas lights hanging on the wall. 

Dirtnapper's picture

That is if Obama doesn't roll in the military to prop up the socialist government before Trump is sworn in.

The central planners's picture

What to do when SHTF withing the US? 

ed31337's picture

Bend over really, REALLY far and kiss your sorry ass goodbye.

Unless you're a prepper and have all your basic necessities required to survive under your control and armed guard. In which case, lock and load baby!

buttmint's picture

...Fast and Furious weapons do come in HANDY! 

Thanks Obama and Eric Holder!

NoDebt's picture

Yeah, we may find a legit use for those billion rounds of DHS ammo yet.  Something other than using it on our own citizens as originally intended.


knukles's picture

Shit's gettin' a bit hairy everywhere these days.

CJgipper's picture

And just for reference, this is a hike from $2/gallon to $2.40/gallon.  It's not even a huge deal.

OldE_Ant's picture

God damn get out the flaming tortilla's this fucking happens like every other Monday at our gas stations (a ~20% rise or drop rarer..).

And they did two of the 20% rises back to back before christmas just to get in on the little driving people would be doing for the holidays.

Same old shit, just change the country.


Savvy's picture

It is when you earn $1 an hour. 2 1/2 hours at work to buy one gallon of gas? Do the math.

Fireman's picture

Mexican Removals Inc.  Coming soon to USSA!


Onward to the collapse

Jason T's picture

Atlas Shrugged...again.


RagaMuffin's picture

DT better hurry up on that walL.....   ;-)

MickV's picture


NoWayJose's picture

Coming to America!

King Tut's picture
King Tut (not verified) NoWayJose Jan 5, 2017 5:42 PM

$5 a gallon this summer- thank God the plebs all bought full size pickups and SUVs when gas was at $2

Incubus's picture

It's like they forgot completely about the previous economic collapse a little over 10 years ago.


I'm beginning to understand why the people at the top fleece these dipshits.  They practically beg to be.

Clock Crasher's picture

Repeating myself here any new ZH members here that are just waking up.  If this is all new to you this is what I recommend

Forget about investing in gold etc. that comes dead last

Purchase SAWYER water filters

Purchase a box or ten of LEGACY freeze dried food

Purchase personal protection to plan for a bug-in/bug-out

Sell everything you no longer need on ebay to raise excess capital, you would be surprised what you can liquidate on ebay, dont sleep on this as we drift closer to official recession that well will dry up

If you live in cold climates find a way to stay warm in the event conventional warming methods become disrupted

Only technical piece of financial data you need to research and digest is that all money on earth is 100% based on faith and confidence

Best film study would be The Money Masters 1995 by Bill Still

and keep your preps to yourself

too late in the game to advertise

buttmint's picture

..Clock Crasher---your heart is in a good place, but really---head to a foreign country (Panama, Costa Rica) or another tropical place and hunker down.


Whether one stays in USA or flees, it is wise to make sure your immunizations are up to date--like adult polio, Hep A&B, typhoid, gamma globlin, tetanus and whatever else your pocketbook will afford. Head to cdc.gov to find out the range of proper immunizations. Pneumonia vaccine as well.


Yes---I am well aware of the anti-vaccine slant. Uh---get the vaccinations. When the SHTF, there could be widespread everything. Suddenly stepping on a rusty nail becomes a death sentence.

Clock Crasher's picture

I am on a flight to NZ soon for "holiday" wink wink

I will monitor the situation periodically and when my visa expires I will evaluate whether to return to the US or make a B-line for another country as you mentioned.  I think staying in the US is fine if you 1- live far far away from population centers and 2- have been prepping for a long long time

I got two vaccinations in prep for this trip Hep and tetanus

My family thinks I/we are over reactive to the situation (they have spent zero dollars and zero minutes toward anything prepping)

I have been warning like a broken record for at least five years

I stocked up on Sawyer filters and food so... lucky them, in the event of a global fiat meltdown they will be impoverished but at least not be dying of thirst or hunger

How in the fuck did we get here?  I feel like either I am insane or some how was transported to an inverted parallel reality when I was sleeping about a decade ago

9/11 was definitely an inflection point.  I know the roots go much much further back but 9/11 was a big missed opportunity for a come to Jesus moment, instead we doubled down on failure.. which has brought us here

buzzkillb's picture

A good travel doctor is a place to start. Ours gave reasons on why and why not to get certain vaccines when travelling to South East Asia. Don't get rabies shot, just don't pet vicious looking dogs, that kind of advice. Small clinic, cash only, not that expensive either.