Mexican Oil Crisis
By Mitchell Agredano
Protests have ignited across Mexico after President Enrique Peña Nieto deregulated gasoline prices in an effort to attract international investment in Mexico’s oil industry. Unfortunately, their actions have resulted in a 20% increase in gas prices. Higher gas prices have created the public, resulting in large protests in cities such as Mexico City, Tijuana, and Nogales. Since the only company allowed to sell gasoline in Mexico is Pemex, and the government is in charge of setting gas prices, there are no competing companies to force Pemex to lower their gas prices to a reasonable cost.
Since the increase in gas prices, four people have been killed and more than 1,500 have been arrested for looting, setting up road blocks, and marching in protests. Protests have becoming increasingly violent with people afraid to even leave their homes. For example, a pick-up truck had intentionally crashed into police officers, injuring nine officers and nearly killing two other officers.
President Enrique Peña Nieto has asserted that deregulation is Mexico’s only option to prevent cutting funds for social services. However, many offered alternative solutions such as cutting gasoline vouchers given to political officials and combating corruption at Pemex. Chaos continues to spread throughout Mexico and the public has called on their president to take concrete steps to fix address the crisis. me