Sunday, January 22, 2017

GOVERNORS, PEMEX BLAMED FOR FUEL SHORTAGES

By Juan Montoya
Remember our recent post about the increased number of motorists and truckers form Mexico coming over the Rio Grande to fill up with diesel and gas?
With increases in the price of fuel soaring from 20 to 40 percent depending on where in Mexico they live, more and more Mexicans are driving across the border to take advantage of the relatively inexpensive gas right across the northern border.

Not only does Pemex blame organized crim for tapping into its pipelines, but numerous news sources – incuding Univeral and NorteDigital – are laying the responsibility on four former Mexican state governors, including two from Tamaulipas, for proifiting handsomely from a scheme that sent the fuel from the Cuenca de Burgos to El Mesquital in Matamoros and then into the United States. The scheme, according to these new sources, was to send the fuel to the United States and then into the national pipelines for its sale.

Investigators estimate that Castillo and his political associates were realizing about $2 billion in annual profits. When Castillo was arrested in Mission, he had $1 million hidden under the floorboard of the jet and found several duffle bags in his home at the Cimarron Golf Club in Mission with $36 million in cash.

NorteDigital reported that Castillo has close ties to the four governors and that the residents of El Mesquital were recently relocated to prevent the scheme from being discovered. 

El Mesquital is under the vigilance of the Mexican Navy. They claim that when Luis Videgaray, Mexico's Secretary of the Treasury (Hacienda), arranged for then-candidate Donald Trump to visit Mexico, Trump's advisers alerted them to his involvement and that of former Tamaulipas governors Manuel Cavazos Lerma, Tomás Yarrington and Eugenio Hernández.

As if that scheme wasn't enough to put a dent on Mexican gasoline supplies, Pemex also reported that some federal police officials say Pemex personnel may have aided the tapping by not only the Tamaulipas conspirators, but by others across the country as well.

“The people who are illegally tapping must have the knowledge necessary to drill the pipes and install the valves,” Benjamín Grajeda Regalado, head of the National Gendarmerie, told the newspaper El Universal.
Official data helps support the Gendarmerie chief’s claim: between 2006 and 2015, 123 Pemex employees and 12 ex-employees were arrested for collusion in the theft of fuel.

A report by the Attorney General’s office says that 2,616 people were arrested for crimes related to the theft of hydrocarbons throughout the country between January 2010 and April 2016.
Other reports indicate that an average of 23,500 barrels of fuel – magna and premium gasolines and diesel — are stolen each year, representing earnings of up to 21 billion pesos (US $983 million) lost to organized crime groups.

El Universal reported that in the last five years there has been a steady and pronounced increase in the number of illegal taps: in 2012 the total reported was 1,635; by 2015 that figure had leapt to 5,252.

According to the most recent data made available by Pemex, 2,221 illegal taps were detected in the states of Guanajuato, Puebla, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and the State of México during the first five months of 2016.

Martín Íñiguez of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), who specializes in national security issues, told El Universal that the steady growth of fuel theft started during the war on drugs declared during the administration of ex-president Felipe Calderón.
At that point, drug cartels began looking for other sources of income, said Íñiguez. They discovered oil and that they could steal it with the collaboration of Pemex personnel and local authorities.

“There are mayors that protect members of criminal organizations with their own municipal police departments. They are also associated with people from Pemex, officials from municipal, state and federal police departments and, I wouldn’t doubt, with the governors themselves,” said the researcher.

Fuel theft has become the third most profitable activity for criminal organizations, after trafficking in drugs and people, Íñiguez said.
The greatest number of pipeline taps detected during the current federal administration have been found in Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, Colima, Coahuila and Tamaulipas.

1 comment:

AT said...

Another time of crisis, another time to get nothing.

rita