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Security force deployment surge to protect Mexican oil infrastructure likely to reduce ability to protect other assets

16 January 2019
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On 14 January, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) said that he had deployed 1,000 bodyguards from the general prosecutor’s office and 8,000 personnel drawn from the disbanded Presidential Guard to guard pipelines from fuel thieves.

The announcement follows the deployment of about 5,000 army, navy, and federal police forces to guard pipelines and 4,000 military personnel to take control of security at state oil company Pemex’s six oil refineries and various distribution centres . Other initiatives to tackle fuel theft – which cost Pemex USD3 billion in 2018 – include moving fuel by road and rail rather than pipeline, cancelling operating licences to petrol stations accused of selling stolen fuel (more than 100 licences have already been cancelled), and a purge of Pemex employees.

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