REYNOSA, Tamaulipas – Gas station owners announced they had temporarily closed 15 gas stations in this border town.

They said they are not making enough money. Reynosa has 180 gas stations.

Businessman Rigoberto Ordoñez said the gas station owners took the decision after they were unable to reach agreement with the federal government, and specifically Department of Finance and Petroleos Mexicanos.

The closing of 15 gas stations will affect around 200 employees.

“We can’t financially support the stimulus requested by the Department of Finance, and that’s the reason why we need to close those gas stations and fire the workers,” he said.

The owners of those gas stations are declaring themselves bankrupt because sales have fallen by almost an 80 percent.

“As a businessman, we can’t, and actually we don’t have enough resources to financially support the plan that the Department of Finance has imposed,” Ordonez said.

“We are continually speaking about this topic because we do not have enough money to fund the stimulus the government is trying to give back to the residents.”

He said they, as owners, did make an effort to support the gasoline prices, but consumers are not going to their gas stations. Instead, he said, consumers are choosing other gas stations that can run with the expense of the stimulus.

Also, many drivers prefer to buy gasoline in the Rio Grande Valley, across the border. Prices are much cheaper stateside.

“The insolvency is for small and medium businessmen, but we will continue to sit at the negotiation table because we want to go back to the old system,” Ordoñez added.

Editor’s Note: The above story was translated into English by reporter Melva Lavín-Castillo.