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    Mexican gas price protests intensify

    600 arrested and 1 police dead

    Baku. 6 January. REPORT.AZ/ Protests intensify in Mexico following decision to hike fuel prices by 20%.

    Report informs citing foreign media, some 600 people have been arrested, one policeman killed and around 300 stores looted.

    According to information, supplies of basic goods and fuel are under threat as protesters blockade highways, ports and terminals and the situation intensifies to chaos on the streets and looting.

    As one of the more difficult to implement parts of the government’s sweeping energy reforms, deregulation required a 20% increase in fuel prices that has enraged the population.

    On New Year’s Day, the cost of a gallon of standard-grade unleaded fuel was 2.95 USD, up 14% from the price of 2.60 USD on 31 December. The price of premium fuel rose by up to 20%.

    This situation is critical for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who had promised that fuel prices would go down with the energy sector reforms.

    The Mexican president is calling for calm but has so far failed to convince the protesters that the alternative to fuel deregulation would have been much more painful for the economy. The government says that by March the market will be allowed to dictate fuel prices.

    State Oil Company Pemex warned that the blockades were affecting the distribution of fuel and that it had reached a "critical situation" in the northern states and the central state.

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