Things That Matter

Protests In Mexico Over Increasing Gas Prices Turned Violent

The people of Mexico are pissed and they are letting their voices be heard. On the weekend of January 2nd and 3rd, the Mexican government deregulated gas, resulting in a 20 percent price hike that has left thousands of Mexicans taking to the streets in protest. There has been looting, highway blockades and calls for President Enrique Peña Nieto to resign over what is being called the “gasolinazo.” Here’s what’s been going down.

The Mexican people are not happy with the recent increase in gas prices.


The recent deregulation of gas led to an increase in gas prices from about 15 pesos (about $0.69 USD) per liter to almost 18 pesos (about $0.83) per liter. This spike has left thousands of Mexicans upset since the minimum wage is only 80 pesos (about $3.68USD). That includes a recent 10 percent increase to the minimum wage.

Despite the minimum wage increase, the 20 percent gas price hike has Mexicans worried about the cost of everyday living.

@15MBcn_int / Twitter
CREDIT: @15MBcn_int / Twitter

“It’s not because we all have cars. When gasoline prices go up, everything else goes up: tortillas, public transportation, everything,” Héctor Pérez, a sales manager with an insurance company that was not named, told The Guardian about his participation in the protests.

The increased gas prices have strained the already eroding relationship between the Mexican people and President Enrique Peña Nieto.


The protests will no doubt have a negative impact on President Enrique Peña Nieto’s already plummeting approval rating, which has reached an abysmal 25 percent. Among the gasolinazo protests are increasing demands and pressure for President Peña Nieto to resign.

To make matters worse, the gas hike comes at a time when the Mexican peso’s value against the U.S. dollar continues to drop.

@ThinkMexican / Twitter
CREDIT: @ThinkMexican / Twitter

According to NPR, after a drastic nosedive in value following Trump’s win, the peso saw an even further devaluation after Ford announced that they would not be opening a factory in Mexico.

Protesters are blocking traffic on highways to protest gas prices on a large scale.


As the protests continue, they have become increasingly violent, leading to looting and damage of private property.


Police and citizens are battling with each other. This motorist rammed his truck into a crowd of police officers.


According to TeleSUR, 1,500 people have been arrested in connection with the protests, including 19 police officers who have participated.


And there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.

President Peña Nieto tried to calm the protests by arguing that gas prices have been increasing on a global scale and claiming there was no other option but to raise prices.


In a speech to the Mexican people, President Peña Nieto argued that global oil prices have gone up by 60 percent. He maintained that the increase to Mexico’s gas prices was implemented to prevent any issues in the future. He then gestured to the camera and asked the Mexican people what they would have done given the same circumstances.


READ: While Mexico’s President Partied It Up, Thousands Of People Protested

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Video Of A Mariachi Band Serenading A Hospital Full Of Health Workers And Covid-19 Patients In Mexico Goes Viral And OMG It’s Amazing

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Video Of A Mariachi Band Serenading A Hospital Full Of Health Workers And Covid-19 Patients In Mexico Goes Viral And OMG It’s Amazing

@Notimex / Twitter

Like the rest of the world, Mexico has been struggling during the Coronavirus pandemic. But as most of the country is in lockdown, tens of thousands of healthcare workers are on the frontlines. They’re logging long and hard hours – putting themselves at a huge risk to confront this growing beast.

From New York to Milan, and now in Mexico City, creative residents have come up with moving tributes to these heroes.

With few audiences to play to these days, a group of Mariachi players staged a show outside one of Mexico City’s largest hospitals.

Credit: @NotiMex / Twitter

Plaza Garibaldi, in the historical center of Mexico City, is typically a Mariachi haven. There are usually hundreds of bands roving the square for willing customers asking for classic Mariachi hits – and it can be a lucrative job.

But on Tuesday, about 120 mariachis got together at a hospital to serenade those affected by the pandemic.

Julio César Barragán, the National Mariachi Association spokesman, said that the goal of the musicians was to lift the spirits of patients and health care workers at Mexico’s National Institute of Respiratory Diseases.

“We did this to give encouragement, solidarity and hope to the sick and to medical staff,” Barragán said, according to Mexican news portal Eje Central.

Obviously, such a powerful tribute quickly started going viral.

Wearing face masks (which trumpeters lowered temporarily in order to play their instruments) and maintaining a “healthy distance” from each other, the musicians assembled outside the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, where they played a range of classic mariachi songs.

The serenata coincided with World Health Day, a World Health Organization initiative whose main purpose this year is to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives and remind world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy.

The show of support comes at a time when most street musicians in Mexico City struggle with unemployment.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Demand for Mariachis has fallen by 70%, as the COVID-19 crisis dealt a serious blow to the tourism industry in the capital.

“The situation is very critical,” according to Antonio Guzmán, a 35-year mariachi veteran in Mexico City. Adding: “I used to arrive at Plaza Garibaldi at 10 in the morning and leave at 8 at night. Now, with coronavirus, I have to arrive earlier, around 8 in the morning, without having had breakfast and I go home at 10 or 11 with nothing in my stomach,” he said.

“Sometimes I arrive home with my hands empty,” added Guzmán.

According to the Mexican newspaper Milenio, starting Thursday the mariachi association will start offering events on an online platform to raise money for the more than 2,000 families of mariachi musicians affected by the pandemic.

At the same time these healthcare workers are being celebrated, others across the country are facing discrimination.

According to a report by El Universal, fake news and ignorance are creating a hostile environment for healthcare workers across the country. Many are being discriminaed against, threatened, and even attacked.

Just days ago, residents in Morelos state (just south of Mexico City) protested outside a public hospital demanding Covid-19 patients not be treated in their city – they even threatened to burn down the building. One protester, even threatened the head doctor with being burned alive.

Healthcare workers have even stopped wearing their uniforms on their way to and from work for fear of being attacked.

Mexico’s Beaches Are Still Full Of Crowds Celebrating Semana Santa Despite Calls For Social Distancing

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Mexico’s Beaches Are Still Full Of Crowds Celebrating Semana Santa Despite Calls For Social Distancing

@YucatanPareja / Twitter

Although Mexico’s President has come under fire from much of the international community for his relaxed approach to confronting the Covid-19 crisis, many municipalities and states are taking an aggressive stance to halt the pandemic.

In fact, all of Mexico’s more than 6,000 miles of coastline have been closed. That means zero access to beaches – a major draw for millions of local and international tourists.

Officially, all of Mexico’s beaches are closed.

Credit: @localesoaxaca / Twitter

Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell told a press conference on Thursday that the closure order applies to every beach in the country until the end of the national emergency on April 30.

“The order has been given. It obliges state and municipal authorities to take coherent measures and suspend tourist activity on beaches, be it international or local tourism,” he said.

Other states had already begun to close beaches earlier this week.

Those closures impacted some of the county’s most popular tourist attractions, including Baja California Sur, Baja California and Oaxaca, where local authorities closed down the country’s only nudist beach, Zipolite. Like beaches throughout Mexico, Zipolite is a big draw during the Semana Santa (Easter Week) vacation in April.

Authorities in Tamaulipas and Sonora had also begun to close beaches before the order, and Guerrero announced Wednesday that its beaches would be closed beginning Thursday.

“The state government makes this delicate decision in an unsatisfactory setting: we have had to choose between protecting life and suspending economic activity,” the state government said in a press release.

These authorities recognize that the economy – although it will be impacted – will recover.

Credit: Secretaria de Salud / Gobierno de Mexico

It said that the economy will always be recoverable as long as the human factor still exists and urged citizens to stay at home and practice other methods of social distancing.

But not everyone seems to have got the memo – as miles of beaches remained full of vacationers.

Credit: Pixabay

Even though it’s been proven that social distancing is our greatest tool against the growing pandemic, some are choosing to ignore these guidelines. And as a result, their risking the health of millions.

Over the weekend, people decided to defy the government’s order to stay at home and instead enjoy a day out at the beach in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The newspaper Milenio reported that Playa Villa del Mar near the port city of Veracruz was packed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with both revelers and vendors offering products such as swimming suits, food and alcoholic beverages.

President López Obrador on Friday ruled out any possibility of implementing “draconian measures” such as a curfew to contain the spread of Covid-19, while he said two weeks ago that he wanted to avoid a complete shutdown of the economy because it would disproportionately hurt the poor.

As if people needed another reason to stay clear of beaches – other than you know, a global pandemic – wild animals are making a comeback in less populated areas.

Credit: @infolliteras / Twitter

Videos have captured the animals in Quintana Roo, where the resorts of Cancun and Riviera Maya are located.

One video, which has been watched 120,000 times on Facebook, shows a huge crocodile swimming along a canal between balconies. The people filming express their shock at the animal as he swims past without stopping for the people watching him.

Another video captured a jaguar roaming the streets of Tulum. According to local media, the big cat was spotted near the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa.