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Fuel theft: omissions

For the past five years, there have been initiatives in the hands of legislators to increase the sanctions against fuel theft
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
10/05/2017
09:12
Mexico City
Newspaper leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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When a situation gets out of control, it is usually due to the omission of different actors. In the problem of the looting of fuel, which comes from criminal gangs known as huachicoleros, there are several instances that to a great or a lesser extent were ignored and fostered its growth. Local authorities (municipal and state) for not promptly identifying the social causes that drive entire communities to participate in illegal acts, federal authorities who have simply reported year after year how the number of clandestine intakes found has grown, as well as MEXICAN PETROLS (PEMEX), and even the Union Congress.

For the past five years, there have been initiatives in the hands of legislators who sought to contain the phenomenon by raising sanctions against those who commit such crime. In the commissions of the Senate remains a 2012 initiative to sanction fuel theft as well as a draft sent by deputies since 2014, which seeks to define the theft of hydrocarbons as a serious crime.

At the recently concluded period of sessions of the Low Chamber, four initiatives were presented to increase the penalties for such crimes, they were approved on the last day of sessions after they were all concentrated; This package, however, could not be approved as the High Chamber had closed its work a day earlier, on April 27th. So far, there is still no consensus among the groups to set an extraordinary period in which this initiative would be eventually discussed.

Everything seems to indicate that the legislative time is very different to the time of the present needs of the country.

In a society in which impunity is still a common concept, we will never know if increasing these penalties would have had any impact on the decrease of that crime; The congress simply should have played its part in combating the phenomenon.

There is one more piece of information presented by EL UNIVERSAL regarding this subject, and it involves other actors. In 2014, the national security agencies recovered 11 million and 862 thousand liters of fuel, but two years later, that figure was barely 227 thousand 246 liters, despite the fact that the clandestine intakes reached the historical number of 6 thousand 873. Another omission?

In summary, let no one say surprised by a problem that has been present for at least 10 years in the pages of the national press, which costs billions of pesos to the public coffers - between 15 thousand and 20 thousand billion, according to the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) - and that grew before our very eyes. Responsibility is shared and each actor must take their own and correct it immediately.

 

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