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8 Jan, 2019 06:55

Mexico deploys ARMY to secure oil facilities & stop nationwide fuel theft (PHOTOS)

Mexico deploys ARMY to secure oil facilities & stop nationwide fuel theft (PHOTOS)

Nearly 1,000 Mexican soldiers were deployed by the president across facilities owned by state oil company Pemex on Monday to counter nationwide gasoline theft that has resulted in fuel shortages in the country.

Some 900 soldiers entered Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) facilities as part of the government’s plan to battle illegal petrol siphoning, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced on Monday.

Overall, a total of 4,000 military and police personnel will be deployed at refineries to deal with fuel shortages plaguing the country.

“We’ll reinforce the surveillance by the military in Pemex installations, and we will continue it. We will normalize supply and guarantee fuel theft will stop,” Lopez Obrador said at a press conference.

According to reports, armed forces seized control of a refinery in Tamaulipas at 5am on Monday, as well as facilities in other locations across the country. The government plans to strengthen the security of oil production assets – including six refineries, 39 storage and dispatch terminals, and at least 12 refueling stations, El Financiero reported.

Soldiers are being tasked with safeguarding access to the refineries, as well as carrying out checks on cargo and the delivery logs.

The government response to the ongoing theft of petrol by criminal gangs and oil industry workers had led to massive fuel shortages throughout Mexico. To deal with the problem, President Lopez Obrador last month announced plans for overhauling the petrol delivery network with the help of the military. The takeover of the gasoline pipelines in late December resulted in long lines at gas stations, which the president promised to eliminate.

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“We have enough gasoline. There is not a problem with fuel supplies. We are just being careful in the distribution. We are opening the pipelines with care, when we have surveillance,” he said. As for now, several Mexican states continue to experience fuel shortages.

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