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Mexico’s drug cartels, now hooked on fuel, cripple the country’s refineries

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techbeck    6,925

SALAMANCA, Mexico—The first call, from someone claiming to belong to the Michoacán Family drug cartel, came in February 2015.

 

“They said they knew who I was and where I lived,” said Alberto Arredondo, who got the call at work as a pump technician at an oil refinery in the central Mexican city of Salamanca. “They wanted information.”

At first, Arredondo hung up.

 

“But they were insistent,” he said, calling back and demanding details of when fuels would be pumped and through which pipelines.

 

Over the next two years, Arredondo said, he would be hounded, kidnapped, pistol-whipped and stabbed so severely that surgeons removed his gall bladder. In December 2016, he fled to Canada, where he now seeks asylum from gangs that steal fuel from Salamanca and five other refineries operated by Pemex, the state-owned oil company.

 

Fuel theft is fast becoming one of Mexico’s most pressing economic and security dilemmas, sapping more than $1 billion in annual revenue from state coffers, terrorizing workers and deterring private investment in aging refineries that the government, following a 2014 energy reform, hoped instead would be thriving with foreign capital.

 

Because of government offensives that toppled narco kingpins in recent years, Mexico's drug cartels have splintered and are eager for new sources of revenue. Now, their increasingly dominant role as fuel thieves pits two of the country’s biggest industries - narcotics and oil - against one another.

 

More...

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/mexico-violence-oil/

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ThaCrip    610

It's sad that the drug cartels have become so powerful that they are almost unstoppable.

 

people like them are a plague to humanity.

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