What to do in long lines at Mexico gas stations with the fight against corruption


A Plan of the government against gas theft in a large scale has led to supply bottlenecks. In the population, discontent stirs; but the government appeased. From Mexico City, Andreas Knobloch.

At many gas stations in Mexico, has become the beginning of the new year, the petrol is scarce. “There are tremendous long queues and you never know whether and how much fuel you get,” says Guenady Montoya, an employee of Toluca. “They sell you for only ten, twenty litres – so you can’t fill the Tank, of course. And you never know how long the gas lasts.”

The scarcity of fuel has led to some chaotic situations, panic buying and displeasure. Many gas stations in several States remained closed; in front of the other long queues formed at the part km. In Guadalajara in the Federal state of Jalisco, only 40 percent of the 450 tank had on the weekend make gasoline; in León, in the state of Guanajuato, there were only 22 of 200. In Morelia, Michoacán, in turn, more than a Million students and thousands of employees had problems in school or at their jobs: Many of the buses did not go because of the gasoline shortage.

Logistics is not considered?

Energy Minister Rocío Nahle admitted in a radio interview, potential problems with the distribution of fuel: “we May not have had at the time of calculation sufficient logistics for the supply of the tank with the tank car.” This led to the gasoline and diesel shortage in different regions of the country.

Waiting for the next delivery: customers at a gas station in Morelia

Huachicoleo, such as the gasoline robbery in Mexico is called (stolen gasoline is referred to as the huachicol), has adopted in the past years of massive proportions. Alone in the past year, 2018, an estimated three billion dollars lost to the state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

20. In December, the government of the new President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador implemented the robbery, a plan of action against Gasoline. This is to deliver the petrol, temporarily, instead of via Pipelines “safe” in barrels and tank trucks to the Zapfstationen. Nahle pointed out that there were supply problems, especially in regions where a larger number of illegal withdrawals is registered. In Mexico city, Veracruz, or the Yucatán, there had been no scarcity of fuel, the Minister said. “The thing is hard, because all that they have stolen gasoline and sold, will be arrested,” Guenady Montoya. “The majority of the tank of stolen fuel have sold.” Experts consider, however, that many gas station have been blackmailing the owner to sell stolen fuel.

The President defended his Plan

In the light of the delivery constraints in various parts of the country, President López Obrador, trying to calm the tempers. It was a “temporary Situation, until we have solved the Problem of the Benzinraubs”. There is sufficient petrol in the country. “It would be Easy to open the Pipelines, and to say that the Situation has normalized, but that would mean that the robbery knowingly sustain, to tolerate, i.e., to accept. We will have to do.”

Sold out: out of gas at this gas station, also in Morelia

The government plan also provides for the Monitoring of Refineries and Oil installations by the army. Around 4000 soldiers to protect 58 Pemex facilities. In addition, investigations against Pemex-Manager, involved in the petrol-consuming run. At the end of December, López Obrador had declared, that within the Company a network uncovered had been the fuel, and sold, I kept. Three officials were arrested; is determined against Pemex-safety-in-chief Eduardo León Trauwitz. This was the chief bodyguard of Ex-President Enrique Peña Nieto, as this Governor of the state of Estado de México. It is “a corrupt System from the root to eradicate”, which is closely related to the public administration, as López Obrador.

Drug mafia involved

Also, the Mexican drug cartels that have diversified in the past years, their fields of business, with mixing in the billion-dollar business with petrol robbery. A few years ago, the organized theft of fuel was a secondary business and served the cartels, especially to supply its truck and aircraft fleets. In January 2017, the then President Peña Nieto deregulated the petrol and gas prices, which soared into the height, and gasoline robbery made to a (still) more lucrative business. Local and regional gangs are involved since the Huachicoleo and gave Pemex billion in losses.

The just to office come President López Obrador considers this, however, is a “smokescreen”, a “Farce”, in order to disguise the involvement of the government. There had been complicity within Pemex, because that’s where the whole managed system; “there it is, if the line oil pressure drops because the fuel is diverted in parallel networks, which were created for this purpose”. The aim of the action Lopz Obrador describes as: “In the case of Pemex, a full complicity prevailed; and that is what we will correct.”