MONTERREY, Nuevo Leon — Authorities arrested 48 men in connection with a protest that evolved into a large scale riot and the looting of numerous downtown stores. The protest appeared to be connected to Mexico’s most recent spike in gasoline prices.
Nuevo León Authorities confirmed the arrests of 48 rioters on Thursday night. The suspects allegedly assaulted other citizens, journalists, and caused widespread damage to private property as well as state, local and federal buildings.
Aldo Fasci, spokesman for Nuevo León’s security services, said the government supported the citizen’s right to peacefully protest but the government would go after the agitators who sparked the violence.
Much like in the rest of Mexico, the protests began in a peaceful manner. However, a team of agitators reportedly traveled to Nuevo Leon from the central part of Mexico and infiltrated the protest sparking the violence.
“The provocation was evident,” Fasci said. He stated that the individuals currently being interviewed by state officials speak with accents that are particular to the central part of Mexico.
In Monterrey, the looters struck at three separate shopping centers. as well as vandalizing. They also vandalized the Mayor’s Office, the Governor’s Office and other federal buildings.
The civil unrest began late last year when Mexico’s federal government announced a new gasoline price increase that took effect in early 2017. The spike in gas prices comes as the Mexican Peso continues to devalue exponentially against the U.S. Dollar. Rising gas prices followed a complex series of energy reforms and tax moves by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto who claims to be trying to deregulate the price of gasoline and other products in Mexico.
Since Peña Nieto began that move in 2016, every few weeks, Mexican citizens have been hit with spikes in the price of gasoline.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, the most recent spike resulted in Mexico’s Cartel Jalisco New Generation calling for the mass torching of gas stations in Mexico unless the government sets fair prices. The threat circulated on social media and led to authorities in Jaslico to issue a statement about increasing security in gas stations.
In the border city of Matamoros, gas station owners have organized a protest by refusing to buy gas at the new prices. The businessmen are going off their reserves purchased before the price increasess in an attempt to force the government to lower the prices. The move has sparked fear among residents that the price war could lead to gas stations running dry.
The lack of cheap gas prices opens a window of opportunity to Mexican cartels who steal gas from pipelines only to sell it themselves at half of the price of gas stations.
Hooded citizens on social media have called for Peña Nieto to resign. They encouraged Mexican’s to take to the streets to block highways, protest outside government buildings, and other measures aimed at improving the energy crisis. A video obtained by Breitbart Texas shows a hooded man using expletives to refer to Peña Nieto as he states that they have taken control of the toll highway that connects the cities of San Luis Potosi and Queretaro. The hooded man says that motorists will not pay a cent to the government tolls as in response to the gas prices.
The widespread discontent has prompted authorities nationwide to increase security patrolling along the country’s highways, at government buildings, and at gas stations.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by Breitbart Texas’ Ildefonso Ortiz, Tony Aranda from Monterrey, Nuevo León, “J.A. Espinoza” from Matamoros, Tamaulipas and “M.A. Navarro” from Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas.