For the second night in a row Sunday night, demonstrators protesting gas price hikes in Mexico blocked south traveling vehicle traffic at the busiest land port of entry in the western hemisphere, where vehicles leave the United States at San Diego to enter Mexico.
Traffic attempting to travel south on I-5 and I-805 into Mexico from the southern end of San Diego County had to be diverted east to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night, according to ABC7 News. The event was a repeat from a four-hour protester blockade on Saturday night.
Widespread protests in Mexico over the hike in gas prices came in with the new year. Since the start of the protests, more than 1,500 people have been detained, according to Mexican government numbers cited in the local news report. Business Insider reported that as of Thursday, “250 stores had been totally looted,” citing the National Association of Self-Service and Department Stores. Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera counted 23 stores sacked and 27 blockades on Wednesday in his city.
Protesters began gathering at El Chaparral around noon to blockade the inspection lanes at the San Ysidro border crossing, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Protesters began shouting “Fuera Peña,” translated as “Out with [Mexican President Enrique] Peña [Nieto],” to those traveling southbound before the border shutdown. The report added that Mexican customs inspectors were absent for hours. U.S. Customs and Border Protection attributed the diversion of border traffic to a request from “the request of Mexican officials” in response to the protesters.
The Mexican government has moved to deregulate the country’s oil industry, which has been monopolized by state-run Pemex. In August 2014, he signed reforms that UPI reported as “ending a 76-year-old state monopoly on oil drilling and reopening the sector to foreign companies.”
On Monday, January 2, protesters At a state-owned oil company Pemex location in the Tijuana region, protesters prevented the company from making gas deliveries for a week, according to the U-T. The protest blockade began Monday, January 2 and remained until police broke it up on Saturday.
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