Mexico’s seaports: drug trafficking, smuggling, and fuel theft
The Colima governor’s family is involved in a serious corruption case at the Manzanillo port - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Mexico’s seaports: drug trafficking, smuggling, and fuel theft

22/01/2020
09:23
Mexico City
Editorial
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An investigation revealed widespread corruption a Mexican ports, which are tainted by corruption

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The investigation launched by the Public Affairs Ministry after reports denouncing irregularities in the administration of the Manzanillo port, located in the state of Colima, reveals that the management of the ports was tainted by a corruption network that favored companies linked to government officials as the report shows that contracts for the transfer of rights were granted without consulting the Administration Council. For example, one of the irregular operations benefited the family of the current Colima governor but later resulted in the resignation of the director of the Integral Port Administration System of Manzanillo a year ago. Nevertheless, the Public Affairs Ministry classified the actions as “not serious.”

A few days ago, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that corruption at ports takes place because officials are involved in the mismanagement, tolerated the irregularities, covered them up, or was negligent went corruption acts were reported. That same day, he said that in the Tuxpan and Tampico ports there was institutional fuel-theft and theft at Pemex ships, which are in charge of transporting fuel that is set to be imported, carried out by corrupt Pemex employees and authorities; the case is being investigated. In the meantime, authorities have detected the arrival of drug precursors such as fentanyl to ports in the Pacific from Asia, which was known by authorities.

Mexico to tackle corruption in customs and ports

Moreover, the President revealed that corruption at ports sparked tension and feuds between the Communication and Transport Ministry and the Navy, which have been solved by the current administration and presented a proposal for the Navy to take over the control of the ports.

Since ports are important and strategic facilities for the country, it is essential to monitor its operations and not to tolerate corruption acts at any government level, as high-ranking officials take advantage of the position to benefit certain sectors or allow drug trafficking, smuggling, and fuel theft.

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