Gasoline Protests in Mexico Continue Amid Price Spikes

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jan 5, 2017, 4:42 pm
Blockades were reported on the highway and to the entrances of gas stations. (El País)

EspañolWednesday, January 4 was the third day of protests to increase gasoline prices in Mexico as a result of the deregulation of the fuel market, and reportedly continued through Thursday.

Violence reportedly escalated again. A policeman was killed during an attempted looting of a service station in Mexico City, according to the Public Security and Attorney General’s office.

Authorities reported that the police officer was hit by three vehicles that arrived at the gas station to carry out the assault. They are still investigating whether the robbery was related to looting and protests by the gas conflict, or if it was an isolated case.

At least 161 detainees were reported in the capital, of which 64 were accused of robbery and looting. There were already 250 arrests resulting from the riots.

The Preventive Cybercrime Police of Mexico City reported that 1,501 accounts have been detected for promoting looting at Walmarts and other stores since January 1.

The National Association of Self-Service Stores (ANTAD) said that some 79 establishments were looted and more than 170 were forced to close before the regular time due to fear of being invaded.

Among the affected stores were Chedraui, Elektra, Coppel, Bodega Aurrera, Cotsco, Walmart, Soriana, Comercial Mexicana and Oxxo.

Authorities disputed a rumor spread on social media that there would be a curfew enforced in some areas of Mexico. However, Army and Navy officers patrolled the streets of various municipalities at night.

In the Mexican capital, approximately 250 businesses closed their doors for fear of vandalism. However, there were no violent incidents reported in the area.

In Mexico City, there were a reported 38 protests, 16 blockades to gas stations, 15 highway blockades and 25 robberies in commercial centers.

Sources: El Universal, Milenio.

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.

American Ex-Diplomats Ask Trump to End Obama’s Appeasement of Cuba

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jan 5, 2017, 2:54 pm
Donald Trump faces tough decisions regarding rolling back aspects of Obama's Cuba policy (

Español A group of five US ex-diplomats, with extensive experience in Latin American affairs, sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to revoke the executive orders issued by President Barack Obama through which he softened the sanctions on Cuba. They also asked Trump not to allow further collaboration with the island's security forces. These diplomats urge the Republican to enact this nullification in his first 100 days of government: "The ill-conceived and illegal executive orders that lifted restrictions on doing business with the Castro regime" should be revoked "as soon as possible." Read More: Cuba Opposition Leader Argues Trump is Good News for Cuba Read More: Cuban Dissidents Turned off by Obama's Soft Diplomacy Celebrate Trump Victory The signatories to this letter are Everett Ellis Briggs, who served as ambassador to Panama and Honduras, as well as special assistant to George Bush on the National Security Council. It also includes Elliot Abrams and Otto Reich, both ex-subsecretaries of State for Latin America. Rounding out the group are ex-Ambassador to the United Nations José S. Sorzano and the former head of the United States diplomatic mission in Havana and Mayor of Coral Gables, James C. Cason. "We want him to take a new look at politics toward Cuba," Cason said of Trump: "We have given too much. We should take a step back, reconsider - not completely break off the relationship, but certainly not give anything else," he said. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); For his part, the president-elect has promised to end these thawing measures if the Cuban government "does not offer concessions." In this regard, Obama sympathizers fear that Trump will live up to his promise, especially because of the political debt he has Florida's large Cuban community which largely supported him in his presidential bid. "One of the most important things we must do is to cancel this cooperation with the security agencies," said Reich, who believes that the US should not cut everything, but seriously evaluate what Obama did: "We should consider measures which help the people of Cuba directly, but not those which send money to the Communist Party of Cuba, nor to the Gaesa military conglomerate, nor the Cuban Armed Forces." In their statement, the ex-diplomats also criticized the United States' actions in the Organization of American States (OAS), as ambassador Samantha Power abstained from voting on a resolution that Cuba periodically presents to condemn the American embargo. "It's scandalous," Sorzano said, adding that "the administration has abandoned its constitutional responsibilities to uphold the law." This letter was coordinated by the Center for a Free Cuba in order to "remind the president-elect of the promises that he made to Cuban-Americans; we hope he will not follow the same course as Obama, who promised that the focus would be freedom of Cuba and then changed his mind," said Frank Calzón, director of the center, which maintains a hard-line policy towards the island. Source: El Nuevo Herald

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