Rallies and clashes over gas price hikes in Mexico

Thousands of Mexicans rally against President Enrique Pena Nieto whose unpopular gasoline price hike has touched off protests, looting and clashes across the country.

BAJA CALIFORNIA (REUTERS) - Clashes broke out in the Mexican state of Baja California on Saturday (Jan 7), as police dispersed a crowd of angry Mexicans who had cut off access to a gasoline distributor since Monday.

The protests were a response to a government gas price hike that saw an increase of 14 to 20 per cent earlier this month, fueling outrage among Mexicans already facing rising inflation and adding to a long list of headaches besetting President Enrique Pena Nieto.

In addition to the protests, the country also saw an onset of looting incidents.

On Sunday, thousands  rallied in front of the presidential palace to protest. Motorcyclists also rode to Mexico City in formation and held signs decrying the hike, which threatens to crimp their livelihood.