Cops held for looting amid fuel protests
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.