Many of my Non-Mexican friends living in Mexico might be unaware of what is going on for the last 3 days in Mexico, so I will try to briefly explain it on my blog.
At the end of last year, the house of representatives (Diputados) and the senate of Mexico approved a 20% increase in a special tax called IEPS (Impuesto Especial sobre Producción y Servicios) on Gasoline. On December the 28th (Fools Day in Mexico), many PEMEX Gas stations denied the sale of gasoline or limited the amount sold of it to the car drivers. Mexicans were speculating that station owners wanted to wait until the fuel was more expensive. Other people say, Pemex company was having financial trouble to supply the demand to all the country or that the raise in the dollar was affecting their purchases. That day there was huge collective panic of what was going to happen. (Even I panicked and I never panic) Just in case, we saved as much as possible the gasoline of the company car.
On the next days, some voices raised asking the Mexicans not to fill their tanks on the 1st of January. Mexican drivers filled their cars’ tanks all the way up. New Year came and Mexicans as usual went partying and forgot about everything. ¡Fiesta time!
On the first day of January 2017, gas stations seemed like ghost towns. Partly because everybody had their tanks full, partly because there was a protest against the raise in fuel, and partly because Mexicans were having a huge New Years’ hangover at their homes.
On Monday the 2nd, I went to work to an hotel in Punta Mita just to find out that the price of the ticket raised 3 pesos. That same Monday, the CFE (The Federal Company in charge of electricity) decided to increase the bill on more than 20%. Other prices just came up. Lourdes the lady that helps me to clean at my house (La Maison du Tango), also asked for an increase on her salary because buses were getting more expensive.
Civil protests happen that same day in 16 of the 30 states in Mexico. Some people took the tolls at the private highways and allowed drivers to pass by without paying. Other people in other cities took gas stations and allowed people to fill their tanks for free.
People in Mexicali, created big rat-traps and placed them outside of all of the politicians in that city that voted for the increase in the tax.
Old ladies in a southern city burnt a lot of chillis outside of the majorship and blew the smoke inside so all the politicians suffered the vengueance of the “Chiles Asados” inside.
On Social Networks such as Twitter and Facebook, everybody started to troll the account of President Peña Nieto, who by the way was enjoying his long holidays at the beach.
In Guadalajara, protesters pushed their cars on one of the main avenues of the city. Some nasty drunk people joined the parade and threw stones to the police officers. So the police officers stroke back with lacrimogen gas to all the protesters.
The Mexicans are really heated up. When president Peña Nieto comes back from his nice holidays he will find that 85% of Mexicans want to throw him to the lions.
Me as an ecologist, I strongly encourage people to reduce the use of fuel as a protest and also as a way to pay less. Use the bicycle and walk whenever possible. In my brothers’ restaurant Vallarta Salads, we offer a free drink to all the people going there by bike. Check the Promo here
So try it, give the bicycle a chance, wake up, and let the government know you are mad!