Mexicans in Vancouver want government to retain complete control over state-owned Pemex oil giant
Local backers of the left-wing Mexican party MORENA (Movement of National Regeneration) held a protest outside the Vancouver Art Gallery over the future their country's national oil and gas company.
President Enrique Peña Nieto has claimed that Pemex will not be privatized, and the government will continue to own oil reserves.
However, he has talked openly about allowing foreign investment in the oil sector, which is currently prohibited under the Mexican constitution.
That brought the demonstrators out in Vancouver on September 8.
Spokesperson Rocco Trigueros told the Georgia Straight that the Mexican government is keen to spin off its prime revenue generator against the will of the people.
"We see the example of Venezuela…it funds everything," Trigueros said. "Now, in Mexico, they want to get rid of it."
In 2012, Pemex generated $126.6 billion in sales, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Trigueros added that Mexican television stations—owned by the country's oligarchs—are promoting privatization of Pemex through entertainment programming.
"The way they manipulate people is through soap operas," he claimed.
Trigueros also alleged that the richest man on earth, Mexican Carlos Slim Helu, will end up owning part of Pemex if the reforms are permitted.
In addition, Trigueros suggested that Spain's oil giant Repsol is poised to invest in Pemex, whereas in Argentina, the foreign company was spurned by President Cristina Fernandez.
Mexico's Peña Nieto has enraged political opponents by seeking to divide Pemex into an industrial division and an exploration and production division.
According to an IBTimes report, the Partido Acción Nacional party, which is allied with Peña Nieto's PRI party, wants complete privatization.