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Mexican Protesters Cause Critical Situation

Source: Reuters 1/3/2017, Location: South America

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Blockades of fuel storage terminals by protesters angered by a double-digit increase in gasoline prices has led to a "critical situation" in at least three Mexican states, state oil company Pemex said.

There were distribution problems in northern Chihuahua and Durango states, as well as Morelos state just south of the Mexican capital, due to the blockades affecting key terminals, Pemex said in a statement.

The company added that if the blockades continue, the operations of nearby airports could also be affected.

One association of gas stations with a large presence in Mexico City, Grupo Gasolinero G500, said in a statement late on Tuesday that it would shut some of its stations on Wednesday where it has identified insufficient security.

The finance ministry's decision last week to raise fuel prices by between 14 and 20 percent effective Jan. 1 has been widely criticized across the oil-rich country, prompting numerous street protests and criticism of the government.

The gasoline and diesel price spikes, derided by locals as "gasolinazos" in Spanish, follow plans the government announced last month detailing a gradual, year-long region-by-region price liberalization for 2017.

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