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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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What would you do for $2.25 gas?

U.S. motorists brave Mexico border violence for fuel
Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:37pm EDT
By Lizbeth Diaz

TIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) - U.S. motorists are risking rampant drug violence in Mexico to drive over the border and fill their tanks with cheap Mexican fuel, some even coming to blows over gas shortages and long queues.

The gap between Mexico's subsidized gasoline and record U.S. prices has made it well worth making the trip, and U.S. drivers are even shrugging off the dangers of Mexico's drug war which sees almost daily shootings in border towns.

Some say they can save up to $100 a month by filling up every two weeks in Mexico. The extra demand is causing shortages at hundreds of Mexico's border gas stations, some of which are starting to ration fuel.

"It's worth taking the risk even with the violence," said a retired California engineer named Terry, who declined to give his surname, as he filled his red Ford pick-up truck in Tijuana, over the border from San Diego. "I know they could kill me or kidnap me, but the cost of filling my tank in the United States is just too much," he said.

Mexico's subsidized gasoline -- around $1.40 cheaper per gallon than in the United States -- is a huge draw as average U.S. pump prices hit an unprecedented $4 a gallon ($1.06 a liter). In West Coast cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, prices are over $4.50 a gallon.

Savings on diesel in Mexico are even greater. A gallon of diesel in southern Arizona cost $4.64 this week, compared to around $2.25 in Mexican border towns.

As pump attendants struggled to keep up with dozens of vehicles lining up for fuel, U.S. and Mexican drivers traded insults. A few even brawled as they waited for hours in searing heat this week in the rough border city of Tijuana.

"I am not budging until I get to the pump. I don't care what anyone says, I've been waiting for two hours," said Jaime Rosales from Southern California, at a gas station where buses, trucks and cars all vied to get to the pumps.

Even hours of waiting to cross back into the United States at the busy border crossings are not putting Americans off despite misgivings about having to produce proof of U.S. citizenship to return home under new travel rules.

"I was on the point of giving up, but then you start thinking about all the waiting time and the cost of fuel. You'll see me here again," said a Mexican-American from Southern California who gave his name as Rov A.

RUNNING DRY

Nor is a recent surge in drug cartel killings -- which has scared away border tourists -- discouraging U.S. motorists.

Shootouts and murders by cartel hitmen have escalated across northern Mexico this year as gangs from the Pacific state of Sinaloa try to destroy Tijuana's Arellano Felix cartel and take over lucrative smuggling routes into California.

More than 1,400 people have died in drug violence across the country since the start of the year, around 300 of them in Tijuana, as an army-led crackdown puts more pressure on drug gang rivalries for turf and protection rings.

Tourists who used to come for everything from dental work to prostitutes have deserted Mexican border cities as gun battles erupt in broad daylight on busy avenues and gangs dump bodies and severed heads on streets.

Yet such is the clamor for cheap Mexican fuel that Tijuana officials say the city and surrounding areas are running out of diesel after truckloads of fuel due from the oil-producing state of Veracruz were delayed this week.

U.S. motorists are filling up fuel containers as well as their tanks, the Tijuana gas stations association says.

"We have very little reserves left. We are trying to ration sales because we can see the situation is causing outbreaks of violence," said association head Joaquin Avina.

"There are areas without a single liter of gasoline because so many people from Southern California are making unusually big fuel purchases," Avina said.

Avina said state energy monopoly Pemex has told officials that gasoline trucks from Veracruz had engine trouble and would not reach Tijuana until Saturday.

City officials say diesel-dependent transport and trash collection trucks are also being hit by the fuel shortages.

(Additional reporting by Tim Gaynor in Arizona; Writing by Robin Emmott; Editing by Chris Baltimore)


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 11:28 PM
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I think a more appropriate question is "What would we do for .99/gal gas?". It was a little more than ten years past. Those of you who are mathematically challenged, that's a 300 percent increase since I was 18. I would call that a cost explosion. Just doesn't seem fair, my parents never had to confront such a difficult situation, sure they had the shortages of the 70's but there have been no such problems since. Yet the prices just keep climbing. Honestly, I think my generation will be the first, since the great depression, to have worse quality of life than their parents.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 07:32 AM
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 09:45 AM
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 09:51 AM
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I don't cross into the US to save a buck a gallon ( it's 1/2 hour there and back ), why are people being so nuts to save $1.50 or so?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 10:52 AM
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because $1.50/ gallon x 40 gallon tank (suv) = $60.00
and in SOCAL is was 4.25 a gallon, that makes it $2.00/gallon
if you could save $60 or $80 week, you wouldn't?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cokey11 View Post
I don't cross into the US to save a buck a gallon ( it's 1/2 hour there and back ), why are people being so nuts to save $1.50 or so?
Speak for yourself........when I know I'm going to the USA anyways.......I let my tank run dry for my trip down there........I always come back with a full tank!!!



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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
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Speak for yourself........when I know I'm going to the USA anyways.......I let my tank run dry for my trip down there........I always come back with a full tank!!!
LOL He was speaking for hisself when he said I and not Canadians lol
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabirdzR/T View Post
because $1.50/ gallon x 40 gallon tank (suv) = $60.00
and in SOCAL is was 4.25 a gallon, that makes it $2.00/gallon
if you could save $60 or $80 week, you wouldn't?
I work 20 mins from Detroit, spend $150 per week for gas to go to work...I'm not willing to go through the aggravation of customs to save a buck a gallon, certainly not going to risk my life for $2/gallon.

And yes Rob, if I'm going over, I will fill up over there, but not making a special trip just to save a few dollars.

Last edited by cokey11; 06-21-2008 at 12:06 PM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 02:15 PM
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Hell, I'm just moving to Mexico. And I'll deal drugs....ya know, try to fit in. haha
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 02:47 PM
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Hell, I'm just moving to Mexico. And I'll deal drugs....ya know, try to fit in. haha
I'm all up for it lol
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