Shortages of food and basic products are being reported throughout Mexico as thousands of people have blocked fuel stations and roads across the country to protest sharp increases in gasoline prices, local press outlets reported Wednesday.
Trade and transportation leaders warned that since there are no official fares in freight transport it is impossible for them to increase fares in the same proportion as the government has increased the price of gasoline and diesel.
Both sectors have had to negotiate new prices and this has interrupted the shipping of vegetables, grains, meat and fruits to power stations and supermarkets, La Jornada reports.
Mexican officials argue that the hike on fuel prices conforms to a policy of the gradual liberalization of fuel prices that took effect at the start of January. The price of oil rose Sunday by as high as 20.1 percent to 88 cents per liter, with diesel at 83 cents.
The price hikes have caused widespread public backlash, with multiple protests against President Peña Nieto. The crisis has deepened due to gasoline hoarding, which has caused supply shortages in many states.
Still, Peña Nieto has promised that fuel prices would eventually decrease due to his 2014 neoliberal energy reform that ended nearly seven decades of sovereign rule over energy resources by state-run oil company Pemex.
Hundreds of gas terminals have reportedly decided to stop operating, fearing possible risks to the stations due to protests. The president will address his country on Wednesday when he returns from his Christmas vacation.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands continue to protest the across of the country over gas price hikes, but also over the government's failure to address the critical living conditions of millions of poor across Mexico.