Fuel Crisis Creates Long Lines at Tijuana Gas Stations

Demonstrations started after the Mexican government announced on January 1 that fuel prices would rise by 20 percent.

Southbound traffic on Interstate 5 and Interstate 805 has reopened at the San Ysidro port of entry after closing for several hours Saturday evening. 

The nationwide protests in Mexico over rising gas prices have spread to Tijuana and other parts of Baja California after prices went up 20 percent in one day.

Protesters, angry about the hike in gas prices, blocked off the port of entry on the Mexico side, causing southbound I-5 and I-805 to close, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

The freeways closed around 6 p.m., and traffic was being rerouted to Interstate 905. 

A protester slammed his pickup truck into dozens of police in tactical gear during a protest Saturday at the PEMEX refinery in Rosarito. At least 15 people were injured. 

“Right now the prices went up and this whole crisis going on is like, crazy,” said Irving Garcia. He rides a motorcycle to save money and still, he’s facing spending more for gas.

Dozens of gas stations closed this week in Tijuana and Rosarito, after demonstrators blocked trucks from transporting gas out of a fuel depot in Baja California.

Some Mexican drivers are now filling up their gas tanks in San Diego to avoid the long lines at gas stations south of the border.

Overnight, police were able to break the human blockade, and escort fuel trucks out of the distribution facility in Rosarito.

Gas stations throughout Baja California were rushing to re-supply their reserves and re-open their businesses on Friday. Customers were still reporting long lines.

Protests over rising gas prices have also taken place in Tecate, and several cities throughout Mexico. The demonstrations started after the Mexican government announced on January 1 that fuel prices would be rise by 20 percent. The government says the increase is needed to cover shortfalls in the federal budget.

Demonstrators have remained peaceful in Baja California, but in other parts of Mexico, there have been violence and looting. Protesters have also blocked highways and gas stations to show their anger.

On Saturday, a protest at the PEMEX refinery in Rosarito, Baja California, turned violent when a pickup truck slammed into dozens of Mexican police officers in tactical gear.

Tijuana-based photo journalist Eligio Hernandez captured the terrifying moment on video obtained by NBC 7.

At this point, details of the incident are unknown, including how many officers were injured.

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