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3

Mexican Fishermen Seize Gas Center

Union fishermen, who have seized a state-run gasoline distribution center ...

Union fishermen, who have seized a state-run gasoline distribution center in the Pacific port of Mazatlan, agreed Tuesday to let the government bring in fuel to sell to desperate drivers in the area.

But fishing union representative Ricardo Michel said if demands for lower gas prices are not met by Thursday at midnight, all fuel will stop flowing to the region.

Fishermen from five unions seized the distribution center Sunday night in response to a decision by Mexico's national oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, to stop selling local fisherman diesel fuel at industrial prices.

Michel said the price of diesel fuel has almost doubled as a result, making it impossible for members of his union to compete with fishermen in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America, who pay government-subsidized prices.

The government stopped selling the fuel at industrial prices because owners of fishing boats were reselling it at retail prices to fishermen who lease their boats, Oscar Salazar, a spokesman for the national oil company, told Mazatlan's El Debate newspaper.

Mazatlan is one of Mexico's most popular tourist destinations and a major fishing port. Five other towns in the southern portion of Sinaloa state have also been affected by the seizure of the ``La Esperanza'' distribution center.

individual.com