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One of Mexico’s leading opposition politicians said he‘ll lead protests against the government’s energy and tax reforms, calling them the ‘biggest theft of all time.’

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a former mayor of Mexico City and  charismatic leftist, lost the 2006 presidential election by a single percentage point.

He then led protests against the results that closed down the city.

Last week he said President Enrique Pena Nieto’s plan to allow private and foreign investors into Mexico’s oil and gas sector will result in the sale of Mexico’s resources and wealth.

Lopez Obrador, who also lost last year’s presidential election, said he’ll work to overturn reforms even if contracts are signed with foreign investors.

President Pena Nieto said he’s not privatizing the state oil company, Pemex, and won’t list the company.

The reforms, Pena Nieto said, are aimed at increasing investment to spur exploration and production.

Mexico produced less than 2.482 million barrels per day of crude in July, Pemex said Friday.

The country’s production peaked in 2004 at of 3.4 million barrels per day.

Mexico’s constitution has banned foreign investment in the oil and gas sector since 1938.

Lawmakers will begin considering new royalty and tax regimes for the oil and gas industry next month.

Source: Reuters