Cops held for loot­ing amid fuel protests

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

MEX­I­CAN po­lice de­tained 19 of their own for their al­leged in­volve­ment in the loot­ing last week in the town of Ver­acruz as na­tional protests against fuel price hikes con­tinue in their sec­ond week.

The of­fi­cers were ar­rested af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tions turned up a ware­house hoard­ing looted ma­te­ri­als not re­ported by the of­fi­cers to their su­pe­ri­ors, the Sec­re­tary of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity said.

The de­tainees are mem­bers of the United Com­mand of the Medel­lín Po­lice in the state of Ver­acruz, news­pa­per El Uni­ver­sal re­ported.

Mex­i­cans have been protest­ing against a fuel price hike of nearly 20per­cent since Jan­uary 1, part of Pres­i­dent Pena Ni­eto’s at­tempts to dereg­u­late the en­ergy sec­tor.

Protests have in­cluded block­ades of streets and petrol sta­tions, and even loot­ing, across sev­eral states as thou­sands of peo­ple marched across the coun­try. By Satur­day, at least 25 states were un­der pop­u­lar mo­bil­i­sa­tion. Among the largest demon­stra­tions were 20000 pro­test­ers in Pue­bla, 5 000 in Guadala­jara and 1 000 in Ta­pachula.

As pre­dicted by a pro­fes­sor and re­searcher at the Mex­ico’s Chapingo Au­ton­o­mous Univer­sity, the price in­creases have hit the campesinos and large-scale farm­ers the hard­est. This has jeop­ar­dised agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion and food se­cu­rity.

Thus far, six peo­ple have died, in­clud­ing one po­lice of­fi­cer, hun­dreds of stores and busi­nesses have been ru­ined and 1500 peo­ple ar­rested. Still, Ni­eto has vowed to keep the mea­sures. Te­lesur

Peo­ple march against ris­ing fuel prices and de­mand the res­ig­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Pena Ni­eto, in Mex­ico City, Mex­ico.

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