By THE PULSE NEWS MEXICO STAFF
Commercial activities in Mexico City are slowly beginning to come to a standstill as literally hundreds of drivers have begun to sleep in their cars awaiting gasoline – some so long that they have run out of gas completely and now cannot move the vehicles at all – and sales at el Centro de Abastos market, through which 80 percent of the capital´s food supply passes each day, have dropped off by as much as 30 percent as storefronts shutter their stands, putting at risk nearly 90,000 tons of fresh produce, according to the National Commercial Market Confederation (Conacca).
As of late Friday, Jan. 11, one week into the citywide shortage, there had been reports of gasoline selling on internet sites for as much as 40 pesos a liter, and there were also reports of runs at banks and supermarkets as panicked consumers began to stockpile in fear the consequences of a continued gasoline shortage in the city and nationwide.
The long lines of cars awaiting gasoline at the stations still open have also created traffic havoc, with some drivers reporting their daily transits to and from work being nearly twice their normal journey times.
Public transportation services. such, as buses and the metro, have also reported overcrowding.
Despite promises by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) earlier in the day that the gasoline shortage in Mexico City would be resolved by 9 a.m., shortages continue to increase in many parts of the city.
In other states, such as Michoacán, where the mounting shortages began to be felt 20 days ago, 80 percent of all filling stations are now closed, and in the central Mexican industrial state of Querétaro, at least 90 stations are closed.
In the State of Mexico (Edoméx), protestors have taken to blocking the main highway that encompasses the capital of Toluca, where at least 130 of 193 stations are shuttered. and have threatened to begin burning cars.
The head of the Bank of Mexico, Alejandro Díaz de León, stated Friday that a continued fuel shortage could have dire consequences for the national economy.
Even the United States is beginning to feel the pinch of AMLO’s war on gasoline theft, which has included the shutdown of several key gasoline ducts from the state-run oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and an alternative distribution system using tankers instead of pipelines, with an expected shortage of avocados to make guacamole for Super Bowl parties on Feb. 3.
In his regular morning press conference on Friday, AMLO asked the Mexican people to bear with him as he continues his multipronged fight against gasoline and fuel theft.