Trouble Over Gas Prices Persists in Tijuana

For Oscar Romero, office and events manager at the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, everything at work is normal, but everything at home is not.

“It’s crazy, it’s apocalyptic,” said Romero.

Romero, who lives in Tijuana and works in the United States, is bi-national citizen. According to Romero, Mexico’s gas crisis has left the streets of Tijuana “dead, no people around, very bizarre.”

On Jan. 1, the price of gas in Mexico increased by 20 percent, leading to protests and blockades across the nation.  The San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego was closed twice this weekend. The border has since reopened but the problems persist in Tijuana.

“Lines all around the block with the gas station, and when I got to the front, they didn’t even have any gas, they weren’t giving any gas. I have never seen that before in my life,” said Romero.

While Tijuana deals with gas issues, the gas business appears to be booming at stations near the border. Today, there were long lines at San Ysidro gas stations, many of the cars filling up had Baja license plates.

Romero is fearful that the gas crisis could spread to affect other Mexican industrys like food transportation, saying “gas makes everything go.”

Romero added that citizens of Tijuana often distance themselves from the problems in other part of Mexico, but that’s not the case this time.

“We in Tijuana are like a different country, but right now we can feel the empathy with the rest of the country. It’s chaos right now.”

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