Mexican Gas Stations

Hector Suarez, Reporter

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It has been almost a month or so since the service stations in nine states of Mexico have gone dry on gasoline. Shortages have been reported in  almost nine states and in the country’s capital. In stations in Zapopan, and in the suburbs of Guadalajara, drivers say they have been waiting for hours to get gas. The line extends outside the station and into the street.

The shortage is the result of a security campaign to frustrate gangs and violent cartels that have stolen about $ 7.4 billion in gasoline since 2016 from refineries, terminals and pipelines. Instead of sending gasoline through a gas pipeline where it is then secured from gangs, state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, is transporting gasoline in tankers while federal security forces closely inspect drivers’ and monitor gasoline terminals and refineries.The new president of Mexico and the national oil company have asked the public to stay calm. They say there is no shortage of gas, but simply a change in the way fuel is distributed.

The administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has closed several key oil pipelines to fight theft of fuel, which cost the country about $3 billion last year. Analysts said robberies were often part of a profitable criminal enterprise exploited by some of Mexico’s most notorious cartels.”It would be easy to open the pipes and say, ‘The situation is back to normal,’ said López Obrador. “But it would be accepting theft, we will not do it, we will resist all the pressures that exist.” State oil company Pemex said the new system would have long-term benefits over short-term costs.Gasoline is a major problem in Mexico, where oil is considered a popular national possession. Demonstrations erupted in 2017 when gas prices skyrocketed. Fuel theft also made headlines in the national press. Explosions have been reported over the years by the authorities to impute this practice. An explosion in 2010 killed 28 people. Analysts said robberies were often part of a profitable criminal enterprise exploited by some of Mexico’s most notorious cartels.

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Mexican Gas Stations