panicnhysteria: (matt)
[personal profile] panicnhysteria
I'm about to talk about an issue involving mostly my country, but I think this situation might be present in a lot of cities around the world. I tend to avoid topics surrounding politics and economics since there is never a good answer at the end. We can discuss until the end of the world but I, as an individual will never be able to make a big change. I support trying to do right and I'll always support good political causes if I'm convinced enough but I feel like this time I can speak about this topic since it has had a great impact upon my country and I wish to share it with whoever read this. I want to know if we're the only messed up country, I want to know what troubles exists in those places I do not know. These can be touchy subjects but I'm willing to discuss them. (I'll leave links to most of my sources if you're interested to know more about the Mexican situation right now).


First of all, I'll start saying that our current president, Enrique Peña Nieto is probably the most disliked president in about 30 years. Everyone disapproves of his decisions and he has done some plain stupid things during official events that make even the simplest of us do a huge facepalm, more than a little ashamed of the man that is representing our country to the rest of the world. Because of this, most of his actions and decisions regarding the law are greatly criticized. I'm about to explain one of the biggest changes in our Constitution, according to various sites, before reaching the main point of my article.

According to the official Mexican Government site, our previous laws forbid natural gas being dealt with here; instead, the factories had to send the gas to other countries (mostly the United States) to go through the process of making gasoline and other fuels, only to be sold at higher prices back here. This reform allows the building of the needed machinery to create our own resources, without needing to export to other countries, thus decreasing the fuel's price, increasing the job opportunities and increase the production of petrol barrels, from 2.5 million barrels daily on 2013 to 3 million in 2018 and 3.5 million by 2025. The government would make sure to create these new machines in places away from the most important natural landscapes, in order to affect the environment just as it was necessary, nothing more. By making the fuel prices lower, our light, water and basically every service would also decrease, since we would be creating our own fuel and energy resources. There would be no more increases to the gasoline prices.

According to Forbes, in the 18 things you need to know about the Energetic Reform, the most important thing to consider when making a contract with other enterprises will be the highest price, not the technical aspects. When 2017 starts, anyone will be able to sell gasoline under their own brand, so our main and only (for now) provider, PEMEX will lose its monopoly over the gasoline sells. Only PEMEX and enterprises with contracts will have the right to look for new sources of petrol.

According to another official site dedicated exclusively to the Reforms, I'll quote: "The Energetic Reform in an historic opportunity for Mexico to take advantage of its energy resources in a sustainable and rational way, following the principles of national sovereignty, economic efficiency and social benefit."

I know there's a lot more than that, since a Reform is not just an article. In fact, the whole reform can be read in 29 pages and to be honest, since I'm not studying law, it's a little difficult to understand. But, let's recap: more employments, to pay less, to be more "independent"... Sounds cool, right?

Wrong.

Here is the reality: On December 27th, approximately at 10:00 a.m., a message started circulating in social networks, announcing that on January 1st, 2017, the price on the gasoline would increase from 16% to 20% until February 3rd, when it would be changing according to "various calculable factors". In my case, the gasoline our car works would increase from 14.59 MXN per liter to 18.04 MXN per liter.

Since I know currencies are different, instead of making conversions, I'll explain how much is 1 Mexican peso, and let you make your assumptions from there. Right now 20 pesos equal 1 dollar. 25 pesos equals 1 pound. We can buy cheap bubblegum with 1 peso. We can buy a 600 ml bottle of Coca-Cola for 11 pesos. The student fee in the buses is currently 4 pesos, and 8 pesos for a regular adult. A semester in my university is 2,400 pesos; a piece of bread is 2.5 pesos... I don't know... cheap CDs are 100 pesos and the most expensive ones are 400 pesos. Compare these prices to whatever you spend in your currency; since I consider that's the real way to know how much worth is the money.

Continuing with the message, since people didn't want to spend more money, and feeling betrayed because the president PROMISED there wouldn't be price increases to the gasoline in 2017, they considered it would be a great idea to buy as much gasoline as they could between then and December 31st to avoid paying the higher rate for a while. And chaos followed.

Have you watched the movie "Knowing"? Nicholas Cage is in it. They discover the world is going to end and everyone starts panicking and gathering as much as they can before everything goes to hell. There is a scene where we can see a gas station completely full of cars waiting to fill their tanks and such. My country on December 27th from 3 p.m. until the gasoline sold out was exactly that. In every gas station there were no less than 40 cars in rows, and even more people holding any form of recipient to save as much as they could. The traffic was chaos, the people waiting were screaming, the people in cars were carrying so many recipients, hoping to buy as much as they could... I had never seen anything like it.

(Un)Fortunately, it so happens that December 27th is my little brother's birthday, so instead of waiting around in gas stations we were busy celebrating him. I consider that was kind of good, because my family stresses so easily and I was panicking seeing the chaos already that I hate to think what would've been their reaction if we were waiting and begging for fuel.

This morning, every single gas station in my state and most gas stations in the whole country ran out of fuel. This lasted for a couple of hours until they were filled again and the rows started to form again. It was almost like PEMEX had been already with more fuel on the way, knowing that this would happen. But how could they know that, if our always trust worthy president promised it would stay the same? And yes, I'm being sarcastic there. My father managed to buy some gasoline. It's barely enough to end the year, and everything will be worse since my brothers return to school on January 4th (along with every kid below the age of 15), meaning cars will be creating rows since 7 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. when it's time to pick them up... Right now, I'm predicting chaos.

Now, it wouldn't be so bad if this was an independent issue, but it is not. If the gasoline price increases, everything that needs it will too. Bus fees will increase, as well as taxi fees. All products will raise their prices since it costs more to get them everywhere in their vehicles: this means dairy products, almost every kind of food you can imagine... maybe even our 600 ml Coca-Cola will raise from 11 to 13 pesos. I love drinking that stuff but if this happens I might finally have enough reason to finally leave my addiction.

On 2017, with the money for one liter of gasoline, I'd be able to go and return from my school that is 1 hour away in bus. With the money of one liter of gasoline, we'd be able to buy 7 pieces of bread for my family of 5 (parents and 2 younger brothers). I'll leave justifications here and complain that this situation sucks.

This country is going to be ruined at this rate. By 2018 we might be devoid of every privilege we have right now. I don't want to blame our president, since politics are always shitty and there is always something horrible going on. With our previous president, there were a lot of deaths since he decided to combat drug traffic. With the one before that, there were some political disputes since he was quite rude. Two presidents before that, that asshole of a president left his charge with half the nation's money in his pocket. There is always something going on, and the people are losing hope at a worrying rate. We're Mexican people, we like to protest and fight, but most of us are sadly intimidated by the risks it takes to finally DO something. I can't find a solution right now, I can only prepare myself to harder times, to hear everyone complaining like I am today, to put on a smile for my brothers and calmly tell them this is going to be all right soon. And on the inside I can only hope I'm not lying to them.

If you wish to discuss this, or maybe mention a similar situation going on in the place where you live, I'll be happy to read and answer to everything. Thanks for reading.
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Elena

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