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Juarez feels impact of "Gasolinazo"

Juarez feels impact of "Gasolinazo"

JUAREZ, MEXICO - Blockades near Chihuahua City preventing goods and people from going to Juarez were lifted Thursday, according to Mexican officials.

Mexicans were enraged by the 20 percent fuel price hike announced over the weekend as part of a government deregulation of the energy sector. Protesters blocked highways and gas stations and some people broke into stores.

In Juarez, businesses have already felt the effects. Samuel Pineda, who owns "La Moderna" bakery in Juarez tells ABC-7 in the past four days alone, he's seen sales drop dramatically.

"It's the small business owners that are feeling the effects," Pineda said.

He says buying the basic necessities is becoming a problem.
"Butter, eggs, sugar, all of that, the prices have risen," Pineda said.

Pineda says he has no choice but to deal with it. He adds says passing it on to the customer is out of the question.

"If we raise the price of bread, the people are going to complain. I mean with the gas prices, people are complaining, look at what they're doing," Pineda said.

For days, Mexicans gathered in several states looting businesses, protesting what they call the "Gasolinazo," creating blockades and preventing goods and people from crossing over from Chihuahua. Goods like the "Lala" brand of milk were not able to make it to parts of Juarez and some grocery stores like the "S Mart" were already running low.

Others were stranded in Chihuahua. Victor Muniz says his uncle has been able to come home. Muniz drove to Juarez all the way from Dallas, hoping to see him.

"He was having trouble coming back, he was stuck over there for like three days," Muniz said.

Vendors around La Catedral in Juarez tell ABC-7 they're worried things will change soon.

"We use a truck to carry tables, our stoves, and we need to put gas, because if not, what are we going to do?" Paola Ramirez said.

With deregulation, there's a lot of uncertainty about what will happen next.

"What we need to do is work and move forward. If not, how are we going to do it? We live here, so what we need to do is wait and see what happens," Pineda said.

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