>> A bold plan to tackle corruption has caused chaos in Mexico. In an effort to crack down on rampant fuel theft Mexico's new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, increased military protection of oil facilities in December. And began cutting fuel supplies from pipelines. The disruptions blindsided Mexicans when gas stations started to run dry.
Reuter's correspondent Dave Graham is in Mexico City.>> The biggest complaint we've been hearing so far particularly from state governments in Central Mexico is that they weren't told what was gonna happen. So it's all been a big surprise to them. In the case of
which is home to the second biggest city in Mexico, the authorities there say that they only knew that the pipelines have been turned off when the fuel stations start to run out of gas.
>> The fuel shortages which have gone on for over a week means Mexicans are waiting in line for hours to fill up their cars.>> I would like to see Lopez Obrador having to queue up for an hour wasting time.
With tempers running high, over 200 police officers have been dispatched on bicycles around Mexico city to break up fights.
>> People were stealing gasoline in the streets, they were milking it from the vehicles. Yesterday, in another gas station, people were fighting for gasoline.>> The supply cuts are also hurting business. At Central de Abastos, a wholesale market in Mexico City, where 62,000 cars and trucks converge daily to buy and sell fruits, plants and other goods, vendors say many have been staying home.
>> We've been affected by deliveries by our suppliers. Our clients aren't coming.>> One of the areas hardest hit by the cuts in supply has been the central state of Guanajuato, which is one of the main carmaking centers of Mexico. There, the local industry says that if the shortages persist into the back end of this week, that could mean that auto plants start to be idled.
>> Despite frustration, polls show most Mexicans support Lopez Obrador's efforts. Fuel theft, which the government says is carried out by gangs working with corrupt officials at state oil giant Pennex is set to cost Mexico an estimated $3 billion last year.