The first photos have started to arrive from Mexico, taken by family or friends - or friends of friends - and then passed along to me. This one was taken on Wednesday 4 January at about 5.00pm, and shows a rather nervous shopkeeper on the road from Mexico City to Tacuba, wondering if he should stay open or call it a day.
The same deserted road that would normally be bustling at that time.
This rather leads me to wonder where are the rioters? I mean the shops are all closed and the people are nowhere to be seen, so why has that happened when nobody is around?
The Guardian has a report which draws on Mexican sources and claims that thousands of bots are being used on Twitter to encourage a feeling that chaos is around the corner. People are getting those tweets and this is engendering panic amongst the citizenry, hence, presumably the closure of whole districts for fear of a riot that nobody has planned or even thought about.
As was reported back in August 2015, the Mexican federal government does have form when it comes to using bots to try and spread discord amongst political activists who all use Twitter to communicate with each other. If they are doing the same thing now, we are left wondering just exactly what there motive could be? One possible answer is that the government wants to have an opportunity to crush the opposition once and for all, as they did with the Tlateloloco Massacre in 1968, which left a whole generation terrified of any political activity whatsoever.
The problem with that theory is that Mexico is far angrier, and much better armed, than it was in 1968. Killing a few hundred students in a plaza is one thing, but this would require slaughter on an almost industrial scale. I would not put anything past any government that felt threatened, but deliberately playing up the fear so that massacres that would put Tlateloloco in the shade could take place strikes even me as a bit far-fetched.
Friends who live in the north of Mexico City, just over the border into Mexico State as a matter of fact, report rumours that the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) who control Mexico City are behind the agitation. Stories are circulating that people are being offered around $800M.N. or about £30 in British money, to go and loot supermarkets.
The problem with that theory is that why would anyone need to be paid to go and turn over their local Walmart, Suburbia or Comercial Mexicana? The videos that exist which show looting also show the Mexican mob in full throttle, helping themselves to all the electrical goods that they can lay their hands on. The notion that they have to be paid to do what they want to do, anyway, strikes me as a bit ludicrous.
The only thing we can be sure about at the moment is that there are continuing riots across the country. There may be people trying to fan the flames, but the information reaching me is that people are now so angry that they do not need any outside agitation to keep their anger boiling.
The government and its policies have done that nicely.