Thousands of Mexicans have once again taken to the streets in the capital, Mexico City, in protest at President Enrique Pena Nieto’s decision to raise fuel prices.
The protesters staged a rally in front of the presidential palace on Sunday, chanting slogans against Pena Nieto.
Motorcyclists rode to Mexico City in formation and carried signs with messages denouncing the hike in gas prices.
Public anger was recently aroused when the government ended regulated prices for gasoline and diesel on January 1 and enforced a price hike of up to 20 percent, which opponents argue is unjustified for an oil-rich country.
The decision has led to unrest and looting across the nation. Over 1,500 people have been arrested in recent days.
The government argues that the hike conforms to a policy of the gradual liberalization of fuel prices. The policy was initially planned to be adopted in 2018, but the government decided to launch it sooner.
Mexicans say the new price hike will eventually affect the prices of other basic goods.
“This will raise the price of basic household products. The price of tortillas will go up. The price of meats will go up. Because they are all products that are transported, so if gasoline prices go up, the cost of transportation for all products goes up,” said Maria Teresa Paredes, a participant in the Sunday protest.
Another protester said the gas price hike was “a ridiculous blow to the family budget,” which he said would end up affecting “every sector of society.”
The new protests come as Nieto’s administration has already drawn criticism for its handling of drug violence and corruption as well as a meeting with the United States’ Mexico-bashing President-elect Donald Trump.