Juarez leaders react to end of "PEMEX" oil monopoly

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POSTED: Thursday, December 26, 2013 - 7:32pm

UPDATED: Friday, December 27, 2013 - 10:01am

Changes are coming up for Mexico's petroleum industry next year and they could be felt right here in the borderland.

Earlier this month the Mexican congress ended the government's monopoly in the oil business.

If you drive to Mexico often you may have noticed that the only brand of gas available is PEMEX but that's all about to change as Mexican authorities opened the oil business to private investments.

It was a major constitutional change in Mexico's history and it only took less than a week.

Mexico is considered one of the richest oil-business countries in the world, and for decades oil and gasoline production were exclusively a federal business until President Enrique Peña Nieto and congress approved energy reforms.

"We are hoping this new reform has a positive impact for everyone, one of the biggest problems is that gasoline and electricity are very expensive in Mexico we expect to see a cost reduction," Juarez chamber of commerce director Guillero Soria said.

But for leftist leaders like Candelero Lopez who is currently General Secretary of the Party of Democratic Revolution in Juarez, the measure represents a possible corruption scheme and the greatest theft of all times for Mexican citizens.

"We've had similar situations in the past like with the Mexican telephone service that was privatized, they said we needed to modernize it and that it was going to be more affordable and none of that happened its the same thing here, if you privatize what belongs to us Mexicans it's a theft," Lopez said.

Chamber of Commerce officials in Juarez said this reform could bring positive changes to the borderland by making energy less expensive for the maquiladora industry and better gasoline prices to compete with El Paso.

"If we see lower costs in production it will bring more competitiveness to the maquila industry and we become more attractive for investments in the area,” Soria said.

National Opposition members such as the PRD, former presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and other leftist groups have stated they won't stop until the change is overturned and plan to accuse the Mexican government of treason for handing their natural resources out.

"The plan is not to give up and not to accept this reform, we are petitioning the government to consult the public we will continue pushing forward," Candelero Lopez concluded.

The law will go in to effect next year and experts say new independent gas stations could open in Juarez by 2015.

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