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Off the road … temporarily

16 February 2009

on-the-road-strikeAn estimated 500,000 truckers and bus drivers are staging a 24 hour strike today to protest high diesel fuel costs.  It wasn’t so long ago that people were talking about Mexico’s “subsidized” gas and diesel prices.  They weren’t really… it’s just that Mexican pump prices are based on the cost of living index and other factors, which means the price is stable throughout the country (with a few exceptions for border communities).  Because Mexico  doesn’t have refinery capacity to meet demand,  and U.S. prices went haywire, for a time Mexican gasoline and diesel was much less expensive than in the U.S.

Conveniently, this was also when the Calderon Administration was pushing for private investments in the oil industry, and the supposed “subsidy” was used to spin the administration’s arguement.  NOW… with U.S. prices LOWER than Mexico… and a real economic crisis in the making… truckers and bus drivers (who often rent their vehicles and have to pay the fuel costs out of pocket) are demanding a subsidy.

So, they’re on a 24-hour walkout.  The strikers include 25,000 passenger-transport operators, and  — in some places — taxi drivers, machinists and others.  While I can get around Guadalajara with no problem, I’m not even going to try getting out to Ajijic or Chapala today, nor count on any package delivery.

A day to sit in the sun and take a siesta.

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