If the current administration is waiting for the right time to move forward in the fight against fuel theft , which has affected the country for over a decade, the time is now.
In December, the federal government announced its intention to fight this crime ; the strategy was widely criticized by several sectors that questioned if the strategy was too expensive, more expensive than allowing fuel theft.
The decision to close the fuel pipelines caused the economic strangulation of people and companies in at least 10 states. The fuel supply in many areas is low, in the midst of long lines formed by drivers who want to fill their tanks.
Nevertheless, a poll published by EL UNIVERSAL today reveals that the measures implemented by the f ederal government are widely supported by those who live in the areas that have been affected by fuel shortage the most. 74.5% of those polled in Mexico City, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, Querétaro, Hidalgo , and Mexico support the strategy, which consists of closing the pipelines to fight fuel theft .
Experts have warned of the social dimension of this crime . In some states, there are communities whose economy is sustained by the sale of stolen fuel but according to the article published in this newspaper , the population is willing to endure fuel shortages to prevent more sabotages at Pemex pipelines .
This government has been fighting fuel theft for a month, during this period of time, the dimension of the problem has been revealed. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador revealed the existence and the dismantling of an internal Pemex network that stole MXN $200 million worth of fuel every day, it was announced that 435 people were arrested and that that the government is investigating 114 companies and people for financial irregularities allegedly linked to fuel theft, the bank accounts of 37 of them were frozen.
The tragic side was also revealed when a clandestine fuel tap exploded in the state of Hidalgo last Friday.
The phenomenon has many sides to it, as many as the sectors involved. The federal government has proven their intention to fight and eradicate fuel theft , and until now, everything seems to be on their favor. Previous administrations failed in their attempts to prevent fuel theft and now the country has a unique opportunity to modify the situation, it would be quite unfortunate if fuel theft wasn't eradicated.