Fuel Theft Poses First Big Battle for Mexican President
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's new president has shut down some pipelines to stop fuel thieves who he says had established an illegal distribution network.
The fight against thefts of $3 billion per year from government pipelines and fuel depots represents the first big domestic battle for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office on Dec. 1.
Lopez Obrador said Monday that some gangs had actually built warehouses over pipeline rights of way to drill illegal taps into the ducts.
The pipeline shutdowns and a temporary switch to more distribution by tanker trucks has caused gasoline shortages in a handful of states.
Despite the political costs of the shortages, Lopez Obrador said he will not fold, noting "let's see who gets tired first, the fuel thieves or us."