Haiti Gas Stations Reopen Rep. Pic
After a local gang forced a fuel blockade for two months that caused a slowdown in Haiti's economic life, gas stations in the country have reopened on Saturday, causing celebration and concern with much of the population. This is a representational image. Julian Hochgesang/Unsplash.

Authorities in Central Mexico found nine bodies in a vehicle near a fuel pipeline Tuesday. They suspect it to be case of fuel theft.

There is still no confirmation as to how they died. An investigation is going on. Mexico has been facing a problem with gangs stealing gasoline, diesel and natural gas from government pipelines.

Ángel Rangel Nieves, the police chief of San Juan del Rio city in the central state of Queretaro, said the nine bodies were found in two separate vehicles near the pipeline north of Mexico City. The license plates on both vehicles belonged to the neighboring state of Hidalgo, which is notorious for fuel thefts.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration has been fighting against fuel thefts by deploying thousands of troops to protect the pipelines. Despite that, there are thousands of illegal taps found every year on government pipelines.

The authorities found 5,600 illegal taps across Mexico last year, while in 2022, the numbers were 7,000. These numbers remained the same since Obrador took office in 2018.

Fuel stolen from government pipelines is often sold on the black market and sometimes, it is sold through licensed gas stations, reported AP News.

State-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos incurred losses amounting to $275 million per year in 2019 and 2020 due to these illegal activities. The losses have increased to over $1.1 billion in 2022.

Sometimes, the gang members leave the taps open for the local people. It is to gain support from the residents.

One such incident in 2019 turned into a tragic accident when a leakage from the illegal tap killed 73 people in Hidalgo state. Fuel theft is common in other oil-rich countries like Nigeria.

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