MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced on Friday that in the coming days he will present a plan to stop fuel theft, a growing problem in the Latin American country.
“We are already working on a strategy for that purpose and I trust that next week we can present a plan so that every citizen knows what will be done,” the leftist leader told a morning press conference.
This Thursday the Senate passed a modification of constitutional article 19 so that acts of corruption, the stealing of vehicles and fuel, sexual abuse and certain other misdeeds will be ruled serious crimes that merit preventive imprisonment.
“It is very important to let it be known that stricter laws will be applied to these crimes. And for all it is the same as for the crime of corruption, whose perpetrators will have no right to bail. It is very important to become aware that we must change; we have now entered a new era,” he said.
Lopez Obrador also said it will be a serious crime if gas stations fail to deliver all the liters (gallons) paid for. “Let them give complete liters and complete kilos (pounds). And we call on those offering services to act responsibly,” he said.
This December state-owned Pemex (Petroleos Mexicanos) estimated losses of between $1.45 billion and $1.7 billion in stolen fuel in 2018.
A large part of the fuel thieves’ area of operations is in the so-called Red Triangle, the region where the states of Puebla, Tlaxcala and Veracruz adjoin in the central part of the country.