Strengthening efforts to curb pipeline theft in Puebla doesn’t appear to include preventing the sale of stolen fuel on the Mexico City-Puebla highway.
Staff from the Reforma newspaper checked out the highway on Tuesday and again yesterday and found no shortage of men with containers of stolen fuel, called huachicol, sitting at the roadside and waiting for customers.
Nor was there a shortage of the latter, mostly transport trucks.
Much of the activity takes place on both sides of the freeway near Santa Rita Tlahuapan, where the sellers, one onlooker observed, are “very brazen.”
“I say the authorities are protecting them, because everyone here knows they’re selling on the roadside. Everyone knows, except the police, who don’t arrest them.”
Officials and state police say Tlahuapan is where most of the fuel stolen from pipelines in San Matías Tlalancaleca and San Martín Texmelucan is sold.
Following a violent clash between security forces and pipeline thieves in Palmarito on May 3, authorities announced they would step up efforts to halt the crime.
Source: Reforma (sp)