Looters make off with goods from a Bodega Aurrera store in the State of México. Looters make off with goods from a Bodega Aurrera store in the State of México.

Looting ‘out of control,’ says retailers’ group

More than 350 arrested for looting and vandalism in several states

Looting of supermarkets and department stores is “out of control,” said a trade organization this morning, while authorities say more than 350 have been arrested for both looting and vandalism.

“We need federal intervention, the Army if necessary, because this is out of control,” said Manuel Cardona, government liaison of the National Association of Self-service and Department Stores (ANTAD), of activities that have accompanied protests against Sunday’s fuel price increases.

Cardona said this morning that 250 stores in the states of México, Michoacán, Hidalgo, Mexico City, Veracruz, Tabasco, Querétaro and Quintana Roo had been completely looted.

Cardona said vandals even started fires in some stores but they were quickly extinguished by security personnel.

“We demand respect for the rule of law. The federal government’s intervention is necessary to put a stop to this, as it is affecting not only the stores but the people living nearby, as the situation could escalate and put the supply network at risk,” he said.

ANTAD has not yet calculated the economic losses.

Intervention at state and federal levels is necessary “as not only the country’s supply chain is affected, but future investment by ANTAD associate firms is at risk in the affected states.”

Stores are also seeing problems receiving goods.

“Blockades on main highways and streets have created problems in the distribution of goods, severely affecting the service provided to consumers.”

An official with the Interior Secretariat said today more than 250 people have been arrested for vandalism in Mexico City, the State of México and Hidalgo. Another 103 have been detained in Veracruz.

Source: Forbes México (sp), Milenio (sp)

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