Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Truckers protest fuel prices in Mexico City

If you think we complain too much about the high cost of gas take a look at this news article. And if you have ever had the pleasure of driving in traffic in Downtown Mexico City just try and imagine what it must have been like there today and pray it nevr happens during La Carrera Panamericana. But I would be willing to bet the truckers would let the LCP Politos haul ass right on by.

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) -- More than 500,000 truck and bus drivers across Mexico went on a one-day strike to press for lower diesel fuel prices, threatening more stoppages and protests if their demands are not met and converged on the capital Tuesday to hold slow-speed caravans in protest of high diesel prices and other concerns, the state-run news agency said.

It is the second transporters' protest in Mexico in little more than a week. About 500,000 commercial and public vehicle drivers took part in a one-day strike February 16 that affected 16 of Mexico's 31 states and the federal district, reports said.

Many of those drivers parked their vehicles on highways, snarling traffic and frustrating motorists.

Tuesday's protesters drove around some of Mexico City's major highways at about 9 mph (15 kph) before gathering in front of the national Capitol in the city's central district. Authorities named which roads and streets would be affected and urged motorists to find other routes until at least mid-afternoon, the official Notimex news agency said.

About 300 trucks were participating, El Universal newspaper said.

The strikers want the price of diesel to drop from 7.63 pesos (about 52 U.S cents) per liter to 5.96 pesos (about 40 cents).

In addition to fuel prices, the truckers are demonstrating against toll fees and a special tax and want the government to do a better job of fighting vehicle theft and to stop allowing junk cars from the United States into Mexico, El Universal said.

In last week's strike, about 50 million Mexicans -- most of them bus riders -- were affected, said Edmundo Delgado Ramirez, head of the National Confederation of Commercial Transporters of the Mexican Republic.

Some of you may remember the life and death experience Jon and I had in Oaxaca in 2007 during a teachers demonstration we got caught in while calibrating our rally computer. CLICK HERE What would La Carrera Panamericana be without some excitment?

1 comment:

Control HidrĂ¡ulico y Automatizacion said...

Hi, greetings from Queretaro, Mexico. The quantities of the trucks in the protest are way too exagerated. In at least 10 cities including Mexico City and Queretaro there were protest for the high cost of diesel. In Mexico City there was less than a thousand trucks moving at 10km/h in the most important avenues to the Zocalo and the to the Congress. In Queretaro, maybe 200 trucks did the same, moving from San Luis Potosi Highway to Queretaro and from Mexico City Highway to Queretaro too, getting together in Constituyentes Avenue (thats were Panamericana Racers arrive and departure from each year). The traffic got slow for about two or three hours and they were supported by everyone, as this is a thing the goverment has to fix if they do not want an increase proportional to the cost in all the good s moved by land.

500,000 sounds impressive, but is a very fantasious number.

I hope there isnt a protest like this when the next race is on, because the stage times will go up to the skies.

Have a good day