the gasolinazo in english—bob marley & pearl jam

the beginning of the year is almost always a financially challenging time in mexico. but the start of 2017 has been more problematic than usual.

bad luck brian gasolinazo meme

a bad luck brian meme inspired by the gaolinazo: he sold his car to buy gas.

christopher woody at business insider explains that the year started with

three straight days of protests [after] a widely scorned gas price increase went into effect on january 1.

widely means almost everywhere. scorned is like hated, rejected. go into effect is used when a proposal or an approved idea becomes real.

fun english practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

marching in guadalajara

a protest against the gasoline price hikes in guadalajara (rafael del rio, proceso)

woody continues

gas stations in several parts of the country were swarmed by drivers looking to stock up on fuel in order to avoid paying higher prices for at least the first few days of the new year.

swarm means many people went to the pemex stations; like bees. stock up means buy enough to have a reserve.

a swarm at a pemex station

citizens swarm a pemex station in an effort to stock up on gasoline. they might also be looting. (associated press)

there have been some emotions involved.

in the days since january 1, public anger at the price increase — as well as at price increases for basic goods and other energy services that seem likely to come — doesn’t appear to have slacked.

as well as is an alternative to in addition to or also. seem means appear. likely means probable. slack means decrease.

milk boiling over

milk boiling over. imagine that concept applied to an angry society.

another article by woody a few days later shows that emotions grew more intense.

protests against the gasolinazo, as the price increase has come to be called, have boiled over into looting and violence. in mexico city, one police officer was killed while trying to stop looting at a department store, and elsewhere police officers joined in to ransack stores. at least six people have been killed and more than 1,500 have been arrested.

boil over is used to describe a situation that can’t be contained.  elsewhere means in other places joined in means that police officers were actually participating in the ransacking. have been killed and have been arrested are examples of passive voice (auxiliary “be” + past participle) used in present perfect (auxiliary have + past participle). it’s typical when reporting these types of statistics. looting is the chaotic form of stealing that happens during violent protests and wars and after natural disasters and sports championships. ransack is like loot; a combination of destroying and stealingthis bob marley and the wailers song from 1973 analyzes the causes and effects of violent protest.

woody connects this violence to the inept administration and corruption of mexico’s leaders

while the fuel price hike, which has spiked prices at the pump by 14% to 20%, may have unleashed the popular outrage sweeping mexico, it is only the most recent event to pique public anger. members of peña nieto’s party have been embroiled in several high-profile corruption scandals, and several governors from the party are currently on the run from investigations.

hike means increase. it is the most typical translation i have seen in the international english media for the gasolinazo. spiked also means went upincreased. outrage is extreme anger. sweep means moving across, taking control of.  pique means stimulate, provoke. embroiled in is used to show serious participation.  high-profile means everybody knows about it. on the run indicates that some mexican governors are fugitives, in hiding. may have unleashed is a hypothetical past example (third conditional), unleash means release, usually something dangerous. it gives the idea of an animal on a leash, like this energetic pearl jam track.

david agren at highlights more examples of inadequate and unsympathetic leadership in mexico.

the government’s sense of timing did not help: the announcement of the gasolinazo coincided with the mexican media’s traditional end-of-year stories on politicians’ scandalous christmas bonuses: roughly $11,000 for each senator.

timing refers to the decision of when to do something.  roughly is approximately.

it was later reported that lawmakers and judges also claim gasoline vouchers as part of their benefits packages.

it was later reported is more passive voice.  who did the actual reporting is not included. claim used this way means use, take, have. a voucher allows mexican officials to get gas at a reduced price or for free.

a back to the future gasolinazo meme

doc tells marty he is going back to 1998 to buy gas.

what else do u know about mexico’s gasolinazo? is inflation an issue in your country at the beginning of every year?  share your comments under leave a reply


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