Mexico endures gas shortages as government cracks down on narco fuel thieves
A motorcyclist makes a break waiting for fuel in Mexico City
Mexicans have endured a week of gas shortages while the government takes drastic actions to combat narco fuel thieves.
Several states in the center of the country, including the capital city of Mexico, have seen hundreds of closed service stations and long lines to those left open.
The government of Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, has cut off the supply of gas in a series of key gas pipelines that transport fuel from the refineries.
The goal is to take the fight for the "huachicoleros" as fuel thieves are known. Many are affiliated with the biggest drug cartels, which for years have exploited the pipelines of the state-owned oil company Pemex.
Fuel theft has become a very lucrative deal for organized crime in recent years as revenue from traditional sources such as marijuana and opium as rejected.
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they line up waiting for fuel in Mexico City
Pemex claims to have stolen $ 7.6 billion worth of stolen fuel since 2016, with 12,581 surprising sums on state and private pipelines between January and October 2018 – compared to 8,664 in the same period the previous year.
AMLO's policy was to use trucks and rail cars, often with police escort, rather than pipelines to move fuel across the country.
But the strategy is proving to be less efficient in transporting gas, leaving Mexico City, Mexico State, Querétaro, Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, Puebla and Morelos in the face of shortages.
TEMPLE OF GRISLY GOD & # 39; SCAGNATO & # 39; DISCOVERED IN MEXICO  <img src = "https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2019/01/640/320/Cropped-A-woman-checks -her-phone-waiting-in-line-for-gas-at-a-petrol-station-in-Mexico-City-01.11.19.jpg? ve = 1 & tl = 1 "alt =" A woman controls the his phone waiting for a gas station in
A woman checks her phone waiting for gas at a gas station in
In the capital, a station visited by Fox News Friday had a row of drivers snaking around the block and waiting for an hour or more to fill up.
Kurt Hungeberg, 48, is a temporary resident of Mexico, originally from Denmark, who works for a pharmaceutical company.
"Obviously it is not smart of us to sit and wait for gas, but the purpose is for people to steal gas from the pipes, many of the ideas of AMLO are good from an ideological point of view, but the way in which It's going to be not the best way, "he told Fox News." The gangs are very powerful in Mexico so it will probably be a fight like in Colombia I do not know if [what AMLO is doing to fight the gas thieves] will work.
"I'm just surprised what we have seen with the exchange rate now – it is suddenly coming back to a normal level so it seems that foreigners are starting to believe a little that is not crazy as people thought in the beginning. "
The retired Ramon Del Mora of Mexico City added:" I think it is an acceptable measure, but the consequences have not been thought of. I have warned people before, as they did with water scarcity, but it is important to take them forward [the fuel thieves]. I think it will cause them some problems but it will not totally defeat them. "
THE NEW COMMON MAN OF MEXICO & # 39; THE PRESIDENT AFFECTS THE RACE OF SOIL [1 9659005] AMLO accused former presidents Enrique Peña Nieto, Vicente Calderón and Vicente Fox of turning a blind eye to fuel theft – a claim that all three have denied.
He claims that his policy has already had some success, saving $ 130 million of fuel that would otherwise have been stolen and that allows engineers to evaluate the full scope of damage caused to gas pipelines by illegal taps
Martha Rodriguez waits to fill up in Mexico City
But in the "Triángulo Rojo", the lawless Red Triangle region in the state of Puebla famous for its huachicoleros, it was as usual, declared a thief.
the paper Milenio, the man known only as Alberto, claimed to have learned his craft by working for the hyper-violent drug Zeta cartel in the state of Veracruz.
He says that he and his accomplices now go out "at two or three in the morning to avoid [the police and military] operations," adding "everything is calm at that time."
Alberto claims to be able to fill two tank trucks from 8,000 gallons of fuel in half hour with just one touch. [19659005ACittàdelMessicovReviewsdeliveredDelgadoEspirituJoseMauricioavevawaitedinsteadedourdirectional
"It's stressful.This is my livelihood and I have no other means to provide for myself, so you can imagine the effect," he told Fox News. I lost two hours of work yesterday and today I'm losing again.
are the good points and downsides [to what AMLO is doing] .It's as bad as [the fuel shortage] is hitting us workers. fighting corruption and there are many bad people in the country. [AMLO] is doing things that negatively affect but they bring many more.
"This is more than just words, it's something concrete but it's in power for less than two months and must continue to put pressure on the gangs.
Martha Rodriguez had waited in line more than one hour on Friday, something extremely uncomfortable considering that her job involves crossing customers who meet capital on behalf of a bank.
"I do not support what it is [AMLO] doing, all it does is when it wants and how it wants," said the 43-year-old. "It's a good idea [to take on the fuel thieves] but he needed to think before taking it forward as he did , without notification, give notice so that everyone is ready.
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"They [the fuel thieves] must be in prison obviously, but this is too much . it will work, but in the meantime it is a big problem for people like me in our everyday life. "