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Mexico army to play bigger role in stopping fuel theft

Staff Writer | December 28, 2018
Mexico’s government unveiled a plan to step up use of the armed forces to combat fuel theft that has cost the country billions of dollars.
Manuel Lopez Obrador
LatAm   President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference his government would fight the theft “outside and inside” state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), saying authorities were complicit in the bulk of the crimes.

“This is the theft of national assets, of public funds, of money that belongs to all Mexicans,” he said.

Criminal gangs have for years used fuel theft as a way of supplementing their income, hurting Mexico’s refineries and bleeding money from state coffers.

Speaking alongside the president, Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said the security presence would be increased at key oil installations to better monitor distribution of fuel.

Security forces would also receive additional training for the task, Sandoval added.

Pemex’s new Chief Executive Officer Octavio Romero told the news conference more than 146 billion pesos ($7.40 billion) worth of fuel had been stolen in Mexico since 2016, with theft soaring to new heights this year.


 

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