The gasolinazo as the price hike is known came as long queues of cars were already forming at pumps due to fuel shortages, and has led to violent protests
Demonstrators have blockaded highways, looted shops and forced service stations across Mexico to close in a wave of angry protest triggered by a hike of more than 20% in the government-set price of gasoline.
The announcement of the price increase came on 1 January when long queues of cars were already forming at pumps because national oil giant Pemex was unable to supply all gas stations due to problems with oil refining and fuel shortages caused by theft.
The so-called gasolinazo as the price hike is known added insult to injury, and since then, protests have spiraled. Truckers, taxi drivers and irate individuals have blocked the main highways into Mexico City and major thoroughfares in the capital, prompting bus lines to cancel service.
Pemex warned on Tuesday that blockades had created a critical situation in at least three Mexican states, while demonstrations in suburban Mexico City turned violent as protesters looted at least two department stores.
Outside one gas station in the centre of the captial, Manuel Lpez, a mechanic, stood defiantly in front of the pumps. Ironically, Lpez does not own a car he sold it because of Mexicos ongoing economic downturn but he said the size and shock of the gasolinazo had sent him into the streets.
Its an economic issue, said Lpez, 24. Salaries are not very good. If gasoline goes up, it provokes an inflation in the cost of the items we consume daily, he added, reciting a list of common complaints among Mexicans. The first thing that gets hit are peoples pocketbooks.