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Hundreds of containers are lined up ready for the next shipment of gasoline to Morelia, Michoacán. Hundreds of containers are lined up ready for the next shipment of gasoline to Morelia, Michoacán.

Gas shortage reaches Nayarit; at least 10 states now affected

Prolonged shortages will affect public services and food supplies, says mayor of Tepic

The gasoline shortage plaguing several states has reached Nayarit, the mayor of Tepic announced yesterday.

“Nayarit was one of the states that didn’t have a shortage . . . [but] yesterday [Tuesday] we were informed by the suppliers, by the gas station owners, that gasoline for Tepic hadn’t been supplied this week,” Francisco Castellón Fonseca said.

“It’s worrying in the sense that there is no certainty about when the shortage will end so it generates the opposite effect, in other words, everyone wants to fill up their tank and that generates excessive demand,” he added.

As a precautionary measure, the mayor said he had given instructions for only police cars and sweeper trucks to be supplied with gasoline in the case of rationing.

Castellón explained that he was concerned about the consequences of a prolonged shortage.

“I’m worried because if the shortage continues it could generate real problems . . . with public services, security and of course the supply of food and goods to different parts of the country,” he said.

The fuel shortage, which was first reported at the end of last year, has now affected more than 10 states in central, western and northern Mexico.

President López Obrador and Energy Secretary Rocio Nahle have stressed that the shortage is due to logistics rather than a lack of supply.

As part of its strategy to combat fuel theft, the federal government has altered the way in which gasoline is distributed, making greater use of tanker trucks rather than pipelines, some of which have been closed completely.

In the states where the shortage has been most acute, such as Michoacán, Guanajuato and Jalisco, growing levels of absenteeism from work and school have been reported.

Castellón, who is also the president of AALMAC, a national association of municipal governments, said that he had been informed that “several municipalities . . . are considering suspending classes.”

Enrique Vargas del Villar, president of the National Association of Mayors (ANAC), said that if the shortage continues, many municipalities will be forced to shut down public services, warning that the provision of public security would be one of the first areas hit.

The president of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), Juan Pablo Castañón, said yesterday that it was “obvious” that the state oil company couldn’t resolve the shortage problem on its own and urged the federal government to collaborate with the private sector to import more gasoline.

López Obrador told reporters at the National Palace this morning that in the fight against fuel theft there will be “no step backward,” explaining that an additional 4,000 members of the military will be deployed to protect the nation’s petroleum pipelines against illegal taps by criminal gangs.

“We’re going to strengthen surveillance of 1,600 kilometers of pipelines . . . We’re going to continue to implement the actions that are necessary . . . We’re going to confront this scourge.”

Source: Reforma (sp), Milenio (sp), El Universal (sp)   

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