Mexico endures gas shortages as government cracks down on narco fuel thieves

Mexicans have endured a week of gas shortages as the government takes drastic action to combat narco fuel thieves.

Several states in the center of the country, including the capital Mexico City, have seen hundreds of petrol stations closed and long lines at those left open.

The government of Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, has cut off the gas supply in a number of key pipelines transporting fuel from refineries.

The aim is take the fight to the ‘huachicoleros’ as the fuel thieves are known. Many are affiliated with larger drug cartels, who for years have been tapping pipelines of the state oil company Pemex.

Fuel theft has become a highly lucrative business for organized crime in recent years as revenue from traditional sources such as marijuana and opium as declined.

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Pictured at the top of this post, a biker takes a breather waiting in line for fuel in Mexico City, 11.01.19 (Tim MacFarlan)

Author: Tim MacFarlan

British journalist based in Mexico City.