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Pemex trucks burn Friday in Tepeaca, Puebla. Pemex trucks burn Friday in Tepeaca.

National Guard faces off against huachicoleros defended by residents

13 people were arrested in the confrontation between fuel thieves and federal forces in Puebla

The National Guard arrested 13 people accused of fuel theft in the municipality of Tepeaca, Puebla, after a confrontation Friday in which Pemex personnel were taken hostage.

The incident started when Pemex workers were checking the Cactus-Guadalajara pipeline in San José Carpinteros after receiving an anonymous tip about a hidden tap in the line. But while doing so they were detained by suspected fuel thieves.

When the National Guard arrived to negotiate with the hostage-takers, local residents attacked them with rocks and sticks and set two Pemex trucks on fire.

After getting backup from additional guardsmen and Federal Police, including a Blackhawk helicopter, the security forces were able to disperse the crowd of residents and free the hostages.

Police arrested 13 people, including Genaro “N,” also known as “El General,” an allegedly high-level fuel thief and associate of Roberto “El Bukanas” de los Santos de Jesús, the leader of a Puebla fuel theft ring with ties to the Zetas cartel.

El General, as well as another suspect, sustained a bullet wound during the confrontation. The two are being held in a hospital in Puebla city.

Source: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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